Lana Chechack worked at the Landfill recycled garden to fulfill her Service Learning hours this term. Check this out:
I worked with the Solid Waste Management, Perdido landfill. They aim to provide society with exceptional waste collection, recycling and disposal services that protect, preserve and improve our environment and the quality of life in our communities. I worked with the recycled garden at the landfill to find alternate uses for items that were supposed to be dumped, but were comprehended by staff before they could be disposed of. It use to be a drainage ditch, but with reconstruction of paths with old bricks, tractor tracks, and blocks, we were able to control how the water flowed to the drain. I maintained the tires that were overrun by weeds, so the pre-existing plants were more appealing and future plants could be added. Being in a landfill there was always trash and maintenance to maintain on the area.
Even though we have these landfills, the process of decomposition can’t keep up with the growing human population. In Chapter 6 we see how uncontrollably fast the world is repopulating. We see the IPAT model, a formula that represents our total impact (I) on the environment results from the interaction among the population (P), affluence (A), and technology (T).Pollution has a direct correlation with people. Seeing as we are the one with the technology to build, the more we create, the more we throw our trash around. Depleting our resources and animals.Since I was working with a drainage ditch, spraying reused pesticides on ants, and seeing how the water flowed through it made me think of all of the contaminates that our water has to go through. Chapter 12 states that groundwater pollution is a serious problem. Surface water may be slightly easier to deal with, but once it seeps underground the treatment process becomes much more difficult. It shows how we are trying to treat the wastewater. We had an in class activity on this, and concluded that even though we can treat it, certain standards allows unwanted substances in our “clean” drinking water. With huge landfills what kind of harm is it backlashing against our water?
While volunteering at the landfill I was able to observe the processes they go through with the waste. I knew from prior knowledge that the stacked up trash emitted different gasses, but in Chapter 16 I learned they harness biopower for generating electricity, and use the “landfill gas” to burn at power plants. We can substitute biomass for up to 15% of the coal with only minor equipment modification and no appreciable loss of efficiency. With other biomass options it helps, but the book states it wouldn’t be a sufficient energy source to provide for the whole globe.
Waste generation is in no doubt rising. The U.S has been coined “the throwaway state,” because of the nondurable goods packaged to be disposed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states, “U.S. citizens produced 251 million tons of solid waste, almost 1 ton per person. The average American generating 4.6 lb of trash per day.” Chapter 17 dumbs down the regulated sanitary landfills, where waste is buried or piled in large to decompose. Bacteria controls the major process. The bottoms and sides of sanitary landfills must be lined with heavy duty plastic and 2-4 ft of impermeable clay to help prevent contaminants from seeping into aquifers. They also have systems designed to collect and treat leachate, the liquid from dissolving substances mixing with rain water.After putting my time into the Perdido landfill and observing everything going on around my surrounding I learned more hands on about the world than just reading it through my book. It caused me to ask more questions and understand it more. I still am left wondering why the blackbirds and white birds don’t alternate seasons, instead they coexist.