1: a landfill is a large space of land designated for garbage to be dumped in. They are scattered all around he world. Once the landfill is filled another one is built to replace it. | What is a landfill? | Canada alone has over 10,000 Landfills and Canadians throw out about 31 million tonnes of garbage but only 30% is recycled.
2: How does a landfill work? | First, a large hole is dug out from the ground. To protect ground water and soil, plastic liners are placed inside the hole. Often surrounding the plastic liners are thick fabric mats and clay soils. These are used to prevent ripping of the plastic liner so that no bacteria (leachate) enters the water or soil. | It takes a few years (sometimes 10 years) to plan out one landfill. The construction costs are about 30 million. Adding on the maintenance costs are about 5 million. In total it costs 35 million dollars | Sometimes a landfill only lasts 50 years and its filled. After all the hard work put in it becomes useless.
3: Now the landfill is done garbage trucks filled with piles and piles of garbage are allowed to dump the garbage there. To prevent landfills from growing to tall big heavy machines drive over the landfill and compress the pile. | Many common things that we throw out take Hundreds to a million years to break down in a landfill. Where as they could be easily recycled and take a few days or weeks to breakdown.
4: Green Lane Landfill | A landfill in Michigan use to take our garbage into their landfill site in 2002. However, they warned Canada by 2010 to find a new site. Green Lane Landfill is located in St, Thomas, Ontario it was bought by Toronto in 2007 and we have been dumping our garbage there ever since the beginning of 2011. | Green Lane Landfill Site has a leachate collection system and a leachate treatment plant. In addition, it has a landfill gas collection system that collects Methane, carbon dioxide, and other gases formed by the landfill. After being collected the flaring system is used to release the gases. | In 2013, Toronto is going to produce 10 megawatts worth of electricity from the gases collected at Green Lane Landfill. | It is estimated that Green Lane will receive approximately 1.4 million from other municipalities and waste haulers that dump there garbage at Green Lane.
5: Short Term Effects | It is possible that the Landfill will pollute the air around it. Or it might even contaminate the water, and soil around it. | Overall, the landfill will be a really unpleasant sight to look at because of all the garbage and the disturbing stench. | The landfill might attract rats, raccoons, insects, and seagulls to it in which they might get hurt in the landfill..
6: Long Term Effects | Unpleasant/poisonous/harmful gases will be emitted out from the Landfill. These gases are Methane. Methane is produced when food that is dumped in the landfill and it decomposes without any air releasing methane. Methane is a dangerous green house gas and it causes global warming. | Leachate (contaminated water) collects over time and it can be more damaging then sewage water. In addition, its toxic. In Older Landfills the leachate might leak into ground water. Which makes humans who drink the water ill.
7: Landfills constantly need to be monitored and maintenance costs can be very expensive. | When the waste is burned harmful gases could possibly be breathed in and they will settle in your lungs. Also they might spread to different places because the wind carries these toxics that form when burned. | Long Term Effects
8: WildLife | Landfills take away animals habitat as they are usually a large plot of land. The toxins pollute the air and water which is bad for both animals and people. | If the animals accidentally eats garbage like plastic etc. and choke, get cut on a sharp object, Eat something that is rotten or have leachate on it or stuck in the landfill they will be harmed. | When the soil is contaminated its hard for plants nearby to grow so herbivores will have a hard time finding food.
9: People/Humans | Methane release can sometimes cause explosions. If that happens it affects animals and humans heavily. Toxins will pollute water and air when inhaled or drunk you might get ill. and in some cases a disease might occur (cancer). The toxins in water would be leachate that seeps in and in the air Methane and carbon dioxide two major green house gases which cause global warming also dangerous for humans.
10: This method is not very safe. Though it keeps a organized spot where all garbage will go there are many disadvantages and soon we will either run out of space for landfills or we will all get sick from them. | How safe is this method? | Concerns with Disposing | There are many concerns, from green house gas, leachate, toxins, contamination, pollution, and illness involved with landfills. In conclusion we should all find better ways to dispose of garbage or we should make sure we recycle and use composts.
11: Philippines landfill overflowed | In the Philippines a landfill was supposed to be closed in 2003 but they left it for 8 more years and finally the landfill toppled over and covered the whole city. Though the land fill was supposed to close down the people there decided to keep on dumping garbage on it. So in 2011 the landfill finally fell. Now the whole city is covered in garbage. 29 people died, 5 are missing, and 20 homes are covered/buried in garbage.