Inner West Junk Pick-up: How Does Landfill Function?

Inner West Junk Pick-up: How Does Landfill Function?

Just in the US, citizens, businesses, and others generate approximately 300 million tonnes annually, while only seventy million undergo the recycling process, while thirty million enter a composting process.

As you can see, a combination of composted and recycled trash is thirty-two percent of the overall amount. Thirty-five tons undergo combustion for energy recovery, but half of the Us waste, which is a hundred and fifty million tonnes end up in landfills, which is a horrible and problematic option.

Generally, waste generation in the US has increased significantly since the sixties. Therefore, communities and states are managing it in numerous ways. Composting and recycling are common and perfect solutions for carbon footprint reduction, while the large piles end up in landfills.

Considerable waste amounts on landfills are two times higher than in the sixties. At the same time, the US is the third largest producer of trash right after India and China. We are talking about twelve percent of the overall waste across the globe, which is a high amount if you consider that only four percent of the world’s population lives in the US.

Things You Should Remember About Landfills

Inner West Junk Pick-up: How Does Landfill Function?

You should remember that municipal landfills can handle residential waste as well as other trash which is not hazardous. However, the problem with waste is the same across the globe. Back in the day, people tossed their waste into the gutters, while the large cities had significant amounts of broken furniture, food waste, and horse manure on the streets.

After they noticed that trash is unhealthy for the overall population, they started to collect it, but send it to dumps, which were ground holes where they buried everything. The process created hazardous air pollution, which is problematic for overall health. Still, the government decided to implement new measures.

In the mid-sixties, most countries across the globe started to implement processes that allowed sanitary garbage disposal. At the same time, they banned open-burning counterparts, because they were the main cause of diseases, respiratory conditions, and environmental pollution.

Implementation of sanitary landfills became the main solution. However, instead of burning and dumping trash, they buried it systematically by using heavy equipment. At the same time, numerous countries have implemented acts and created standards that prevented environmental pollution.

For instance, in the US, you can find more than 2,500 landfills that can handle solid waste. We are talking about facilities that can operate and handle processes by following federal regulations, especially when it comes to handling residential trash. At the same time, solid waste can take some forms of specific waste from industries.

Before checking out Inner West junk pick-up, you should understand the importance of landfills in the further article. You should know that landfills feature groundwater testing systems to ensure the pollution is not going anywhere.

They should be federally approved for handling trash, which will feature covering it with a few inches of soil and compacting it throughout the process. The soil layer will reduce the odour, prevent rodent and insect issues, and the chance of waste getting out of the landfill.

You should stay with us to learn details on how landfills function and the sections they must have.

Sections of a Landfill

Inner West Junk Pick-up: How Does Landfill Function?

Remember that modern landfills are not identical, but most of them feature similar technologies. Of course, the exact type of materials and sequence is different from place to place. Still, you should understand the basic aspects, including:

  • Plastic Liners – They are separating trash and prevent contaminated water to enter the soil and groundwater
  • Cells – We are talking about storage gaps where you can place the waste
  • Stormwater Drainage System – As the name suggests, it collects rainwater and prevents potential contamination.
  • Leachate Collection System – They collect water that runs through landfill and contains leachate or contaminating substances
  • Methane Collection System –It collects methane gas, which is a byproduct of trash breakdown.
  • Caps or Covering – It seals the top of it, which is important to remember.

1.   Bottom Liner System

The main purpose and the most significant challenge are to ensure the trash lies on the specifically created ground so it will not cause potential environmental issues. Therefore, the bottom liner features thick plastic that will prevent the waste from reaching the groundwater and outside soil.

2.   Cells

Heavy equipment can easily compact the waste and place it into segregated areas we call cells. They feature a day’s worth of refuse, which allows it to avoid using the entire space along the way. As soon as they make the cell, they will cover it with six inches of soil and compact it throughout the process.

3.   Stormwater Drainage

Another important aspect of landfill is the system that will prevent rainwater from entering the waste and causing contamination. That is why each one features drainage system that will route the water into ditches, which will prevent the waste from getting it touch with it.

They feature metal, plastic, or concrete culverts underneath next to roads and basins, which will ultimately avoid soil loss in the landfills, which is another aspect of the system that will stand the test of time.

You should know that storm liners can collect the water from areas around it and channel it into the drainage that surrounds the area. The ditches can be gravel-lined or concrete, meaning they will take the water into ponds on the sides.

Remember that the collection ponds will feature soil particles and professionals will test it for contaminants. As soon as the setting becomes transparent and safe, then it is time to take it away from the area.

4.   Leachate Collection System

Although implementing a system that will reduce the water in landfills is not perfect, meaning a portion of it will become part of the waste. Still, water will go next to cells and directly into the soil, which is the same way it percolates when you use a drip coffee maker.

As it goes through the trash, it will pick the contaminants, which we call leachate, and it comes with acidic properties. Therefore, you should implement perforated piping throughout the area to collect the contaminated water. The pipes will drain into the main one, which will carry everything into the pond.

5.   Methane Collection System

Inner West Junk Pick-up: How Does Landfill Function?

You should know that the bacteria will cause trash to break down due to anaerobic surroundings. Since the landfill is airtight, it means it lacks oxygen, which makes it the perfect environment for breaking down. However, the byproduct of the breakdown is a landfill gas, which is a combination of carbon dioxide and methane, with small levels of nitrogen.

One of the most problematic aspects is the production of methane because we are talking about a greenhouse gas, which is more potent than carbon dioxide to trap heat in the air. Since landfills are one of the largest methane producers, they must feature capturing systems that will prevent large levels from entering the atmosphere.

6.   Cap Covering

Another important consideration is placing a covering on the soil, which will seal the trash from the air and prevent insects, mice, rats, and birds from reaching it. The layer will feature plastic and synthetic fabric so vegetation can start growing at the top of it.

7.   Monitoring Groundwater

Finally, each landfill must feature groundwater monitoring systems, which include piping that will get inside the groundwater so professionals can sample and test them for the presence of contaminants.

They will measure temperature as well, because it rises when the waste decomposes, meaning it is an indication that contaminants entered the groundwater. They will also check out pH levels to determine whether it became acidic or not.

Final Word

As you can see, landfills require plenty of technological advancements to ensure they remain safe for surrounding areas. Still, it is vital to find ways to reduce the waste that goes inside of them, which will ultimately affect the environment altogether.