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 Post subject: Re: Who cares about garbage in landfills?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1795
Location: Ottawa, Canada
DoingHomework wrote:
I think the biggest issue with the "came out of the ground originally" argument is that we process and concentrate stuff to the point that what was once harmless no longer is.


You've got a valid point there, and even though uranium originally came from the ground, I'm not advocating burying nuclear waste and building a playground on top of it. :) I agree that there are a few categories of waste that warrant additional processing before being disposed of. I support recycling, and particularly initiatives designed to collect and properly dispose of electronic waste (due to the high concentration of lead and other toxic materials).

But for most stuff, I don't think there's anything wrong with just burying it. I get irritated at the knee-jerk objections of all the tree-hugging hippies who scream and squeal about "protecting the Earth" at the slightest suggestion that we bury diapers and Ziploc baggies. When you ask them how it's harming the Earth to bury these things, they just say "because they take thousands of years to break down!" Ask them, "so what?" and they never have a rational answer. The best they can offer is emotion and rhetoric about "the children." But it doesn't hold up to analysis.


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 Post subject: Re: Who cares about garbage in landfills?
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 7:24 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 459
Location: USA
OK I'm not an expert on landfills. IF we took care of all of our waste and had enough resources to bury it properly, and people were ok with living next to those landfills, then no problem. But in the US people don't like living next to landfills so they are put near low income areas. We had a covered-over trash pile near my hometown, and it was re-employed as a tubing hill, but it also emitted methane that had to be burned off and didn't smell too good. I think it's simplistic to think all the waste we create can simply be buried and covered over.

Second, we don't take care of all the trash we create. Alot of it is sent overseas. For example electronics to India where they use toxic processes trying to seperate out the tiny tiny amounts of gold used in electronics, causing a big environmental and health hazard. The countries that produce stuff for us also often save money by not dealing with waste properly, leading to waste dumping into streams, rivers and ultimately the ocean. We like to think of waste as "someone else's" problem i.e. out of sight out of mind. The more we learn about the environment, even things we thought were ok to release are having harmful effects downstream and building up in the ecosystem (medicine metabolites in urine getting into the water stream, plastics leaching hormone mimickers into water, "safe" pesticides affecting honeybee populations, so on). Sure, alot of stuff is only affecting salamanders, frogs, bees, songbirds right now, but whose to say won't affect us too, as we are higher up on the foodchain? Until we learn how to live in space, we only have one planet. Trash is not a local problem it is a global problem. I think it's crazy that people think we can keep creating trash and polluting at the rate we are and have it not ultimately affect the ecosytems we use to survive. Rant over.


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 Post subject: Re: Who cares about garbage in landfills?
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 7:30 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 459
Location: USA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_waste

Admittedly from Wikipedia, but this is an overview of problem of electronic waste in landfills. Since you asked me, no I wouldn't want to build a house (and a lawn that my kids play on) over this stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Who cares about garbage in landfills?
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 9:53 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:50 am
Posts: 83
To all interested in the topic, I recommend the book "Garbage Land" by Elizabeth Royte. It's an informative and entertaining read, and it did make me think about all the garbage we produce.


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 Post subject: Re: Who cares about garbage in landfills?
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 11:13 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:01 am
Posts: 243
kombat,

I think there is at least one major point you have missed in your argument. I used to live relatively close to a landfill and there is a very big reason why you wouldn't want to live on top of it. Landfills are full of decomposing materials and these materials give off some pretty noxious gases. Our house was a couple miles from the landfill and if the wind was blowing in our direction the smell from it was not pleasant at all. So my bet is you wouldn't want to live on top of a landfill, even one that has been closed for 100 years. As far as I know the decomposition process takes a very long time. This is just one more reason to add to the list of others that have been posted here already.

squished18


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