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CHAPTER 23 SANITARY LANDFILLS

Pg. 395-398
Sanitary landfills require wastes to be confined in a
SOLID AND HAZARDOUS WASTES: WHAT sealed area.
Landfill starts with an appropriate site, which should be
TO DO WITH THE GARBAGE? dry and consist of impervious clay soil.
Decomposing organic matter produces liquids, which
1987 – The problem of solid waste disposal was brought
may dissolve metals and other toxins, and potentially
to national attention by the plight of the “garbage
explosive gasses, vents and drains must be constructed
barge” to control these hazards.
- more than 3000 tons of commercial trash
The biggest drawback of sanitary landfills as a method
banned from the local landfill in Islip, New York.
of waste disposal is that they take up a lot of space.
- disposal site somewhere along the Atlantic or TIPPING FEE – cost for disposing of a ton of municipal
Gulf coasts, Belize or the Bahamas, made
solid waste.
national news over a 5-month period.
2010 – the average of tipping fee in US for burial in a
- Americans dispose of about 250 million tons of
landfill was $43.99 per ton.
Municipal solid waste each year.
Northeast has the highest tipping fee; the fee in
- In 2010 this amounted to 4.43 pounds per
Massachusetts was $105.40.
person per day. NIMBY – meaning NOT IN MY BACKYARD
Garbage collection has been an important responsibility
Garbage crisis of New York head by complaints about
of local governments since the late 19th century.
the Fresh Kill landfills on Staten Island.
- It was recognized that rats, flies, and other
FRESH KILLS – began taking garbage in 1948.
vermin attracted by garbage carry disease such
- 1996 accepting about 13,000 tons per day
as PLAGUE and TYPHUS.
- MARCH 2011 Fresh Kill was closed
1970s attention was paid to what was done with the
In 1996, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)
garbage after it was taken away from residential
ordered it to cut down on emission of noxious gasses.
neighbourhoods.
DEPARTMENT OF SANITATION - proposed to conduct
- It was disposed in open dumps. Sometimes it
regular tours of the site, a proposal which horrified city
was burned. authorities and was promptly squelched.
- Pour it into nearby rivers, lakes or ocean.
MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI proposed to close it down.
Garbage washed up on beaches and contaminated
WORLD TRADE CENTER site has remained closed in
drinking water. SEPTEMBER 11, 2001.
Incinerators emitted foul odors, noxious fumes, and
- since then the city struggled of sending wastes
black smoke.
to landfills in other states, mostly
Dumps, supporting large population of vermin produced PENNYSLVANIA and VRIGINIA
toxic leachates that speed through the soil and
The City Sanitation truck takes the 12,000 tons of
contaminated groundwater.
residential wastes per day to transfer station in New
CLEAN AIR ACT – made most incinerators illegal Jersey.
CLEAN WATER ACT – outlawed dumping into rivers and
- Total cost to the city disposing of a ton of trash
lakes
in 2004 has risen to $75-40 percent more that it
MARINE PROTECTION, REASEARCH, AND SANCTUARIES coast in 1997.
ACT OF 1972 – prohibited most ocean dumping
2006 – city published a comprehensive solid-waste
RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND RECOVERY ACT, RCRA
management plan.
(“rickra”) – set standards for sanitary landfills.