Manassas, VA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/30/2012 -- When people think about landfills, the mind doesn’t paint an appealing picture. However, while landfills aren’t aesthetically pleasing, there are numerous benefits to landfills, many of them environmental.
Before we implemented landfill operations, the government had no way of monitoring waste disposal. Not only were companies and individuals dumping waste wherever they pleased, they were doing so with little regard for personal safety. In addition, areas often chose to export their waste to landfills outside of their boundaries in order to minimize the impact on the community. Unfortunately, the energy that gets consumed in order to transport that waste is a huge loss for our energy sources, and increased government monitoring of landfills has made this practice a lot less prevalent, saving energy each and every year.
As you can probably imagine, there are a plethora of health and safety risks involved with disposing of all of the non-recyclable waste in any given area. Landfill staff members are highly trained individuals equipped to deal with the type of organic and potentially dangerous waste that needs to be disposed. Citizens without explicit safety training are certainly unequipped to deal with disposal of medical waste, or waste from the energy industry. Only trained staff at landfills can adequately deal with these challenges. Things as simple as sharp objects and as complex as unexpected chemical interactions pose a risk to anyone working at a landfill, and it is important to keep this risk from affecting the general population.
When landfills are properly managed and landfill sites chosen carefully, staff members can minimize the environmental impact of waste as it degrades. Decomposing material sometimes releases dangerous chemicals into the surrounding area. As much of the waste at landfills is pressed into the ground, this could have a pretty stark impact on our water supply if it wasn’t properly handled by landfill staff.
Landfills save the energy that would be used to export waste, but surprisingly landfills also serve as an additional source of energy. Landfills in the Northeast- think Virginia, DC, Baltimore, and Maryland- work to turn the stagnant waste in landfills into useable energy. Companies like ESI Waste in the Northeast approach the question of disposing of our collective waste in an environmentally responsible way, from dumpsters to processing facilities. Efforts like these are perfect for landfills that produce energy. A combination of processes called waste-to-energy (WTE) includes combustion, gasification, anaerobic digestion, and landfill gas recovery. Workers turn non-recyclable waste into about 2,720 megawatts of power every year. During a time when we are struggling to establish energy independence, every little bit counts.
As one might imagine, trash can't be added to a landfill endlessly. Eventually, landfills reach a saturation point and can no longer accept new waste. When that happens, landfills undergo a process that makes the land usable again. Many former landfills are turned into public parks or farmland once they reach that point, and serve the community in a new way. For more information about landfills in DC, KY, MD, NJ, VA, or WV, visit ESIWaste.com today.
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