FC: Landfills | How it works, and the effects of it
1: What are Landfills? | Landfills are places where garbage is disposed into and then buried under soil. Landfills are one of the most popular ways to dispose garbage. Landfills have both positive, and negative effects to the environment. You will soon find out what they are! | A truck disposing garbage into the landfill
2: How do Landfills work? | The first step in the procedure of putting garbage into a landfill is of course getting the garbage! As we all know, there is a truck that comes to your house to collect garbage every two weeks. | After the truck takes the garbage, they dump it into a landfill. In the landfill, employees then bury the garbage under layers of soil.
3: Fresh Kills Landfill | Fresh Kills Landfill is one of the most famous landfills in the world. Once located in New York, Fresh Kills was once one of the biggest man made structures in the world, until it became a sorting ground for the debris from the 9/11 attacks. After the sorting, Fresh Kills started to plan on creating Fresh Kills Park, which Fresh Kills claims will be the second biggest park in New York when it is finished. Without Fresh Kills Landfill, many people who died from 9/11 would have never been found and identified. | What Fresh Kills Park is expected to look like when completed
4: Long Term Effects-Bad | Although most of the garbage from landfills are relatively safe, some of it is hazardous waste. There are chemicals that could possible pose a big threat to the environment, such as methane. | Methane is being released into the air from heat | Methane is a highly flammable gas, and could create huge explosions in landfills, which will create fires and release harmful gases into the air.
5: Long Term Effects-Bad | Methane is made when garbage decomposes. Studies have shown that around 175 million tonnes of garbage are dumped into landfills per year. When all of that garbage decomposes, it produces a very large amount of methane. Not only is methane flammable, but if too much of it is in the air, it is known to make people feel dizzy.
6: Long Term Effects-Bad | One of the biggest disadvantages of landfills is the fact that methane has a very high "Global Warming Potential", or GWP. GWP measures how much heat a greenhouse gas, like methane traps in the atmosphere. The 20 year GWP chart shows that if there were the same amount of methane was put into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, methane would trap 21 times more heat than carbon. This means that methane could potentially make our Earth very cold.
7: Long Term Effects-Bad | If methane keeps getting released into the atmosphere, it will make the Earth extremely cold
8: Effects-Good | While there are many bad effects of landfills, they also provide us with very important things. Landfills are an of reusable energy sources. Landfills provide us with very important gases that are needed every day in our life. Landfills are also always there, because humans will always make garbage, which makes landfills a very reliable source of energy.
9: Effects-Good | Sources of energy such as windmills are not as dependable as landfills, because there can be some difficulties with them if they break. Landfills cannot "break" because it's just a pile of garbage. Also, landfills have been supplying us with energy for dozens of years, which proves how well they work. | A broken windmill
10: How Landfills Affect Wildlife and People | Landfills have many negative effects on both wildlife and people. Many negative effects were mentioned in the previous sections. Unfortunately, landfills affect the wildlife a lot more seriously than it affects us. The main reason why is because unlike us, animals actually LIVE in landfills or wander around it. | Birds flying around a landfill
11: How Landfills Affect Wildlife and People | One of the biggest effects of landfills on wildlife is the fact that it IS a landfill. Landfills are not suitable habitats for animals, since it emits dangerous chemicals such as methane and leachate. (contaminated water) Landfills also obviously have a lot of litter, which includes dangerous things such as broken bottles and sharp cans, which can injure animals seeking habitat. | Leachate being dumped into water | Broken bottles like these can cut animals
12: Are Landfills Safe? | As of right now, landfills can be classified as a "safe" method of disposing waste. The biggest problem about landfills is the fact that it releases a lot of methane into the atmosphere which over time will do a lot of damage to the Earth. The reason why I said that right now, landfills are safe is that because it a short term solution to disposing waste. Sooner or later, the methane from landfills will start doing a lot of damage if garbage keeps accumulating and keeps getting dumped. | Eventually, the methane escaping into the atmosphere can trap a lot of heat and make the Earth cold
13: Delta Shake and Shingle Landfill Fire | In British Columbia in 1999, Delta Shake and Shingle Landfill suddenly burst into flames. The owner of the landfill thought that he could quickly extinguish the fire, but ended up making the fire a lot worse. Another factor that made the fire worse was the fact that there was a "high pressure natural gas" which acts as the fuel for many people in Vancouver. After weeks of panic, the landfill fire was extinguished in December. | A picture of the fire