So where does trash go when it is magically picked up off of our curbs and whisked off to never been seen or smelled again. The truth is that, depending on where we live, waste is buried, burned, or shipped off to a third world country – depending on the type of waste it is.
Generally, landfills, also referred to as a dump or tip, have been the traditional way of waste removal. Call it what you want, landfills around the world, including low income neighborhoods world wide are reaching full capacity.
Initially these site were not designed to fill up at the rates that they have been, opening up new opportunities! Landfills, reaching capacity are being developed for re-use for parks, gold courses and even creating neighborhoods in major cities like San Francisco’s Treasure Island.
Since these heaps of garbage are not decomposing, but rather staying intact, they are designed to keep all the toxins that could potentially leak out into the community, under wraps. There is still the risk of seeping leachate, despite leachate management that captures and treats it. Leachate is a liquid that is formed inside landfills, containing dissolved organic and suspended matter, considered to be extremely toxic.
Landfills also create carbon dioxide and methane – two types of gases known for their destructive properties on our eco-systems, the atmosphere, and our health.