Are landfills the best option to dispose of waste?

Are landfills the best option to dispose of waste?

Clearly recycling is the best option to manage waste. However, recycling is not always a sustainable option. Recycling requires expensive high maintenance machinery to sort out single stream waste meaning it has not been mixed with unrecyclable materials such as Food waste, ceramics, plastic wrap, bubble wrap etc. It is the best option for the environment but it also requires high amounts of energy, more trucks, more processing power. Incineration is an alternative efficient option to dispose of waste, but it is not a popular choice for obvious reasons. Most incinerators in the US are limited to medical, hazardous or narcotics waste. Some states may grant a permit for a limited amount of waste and strict regulations and procedures to be followed. As you may realize by now there are not many options left to dispose of waste, this is why landfills are the most popular choice to dispose of waste in the US. Landfills are heavy regulated, and it takes a well-managed company with a dedicated team to properly handle such a demanding task. Even though landfills are the safest way to dispose of waste, they still have environmental issues that need to be addressed. Landfill waste can leak into underground water that supplies many surrounding residents. This is why they are required to pass multiple tests before and during their operations, landfills are usually constructed in areas with little to no underground water. Even then they are layered with multiple containment mats underneath the ground to avoid any of the waste mixing with any of the surrounding substances. Another issue landfills face is the methane gas produced by the waste. When you have thousands of tons of waste compacted as dense as possible you are going to have methane gas produced throughout the years as the waste decomposes. Methane gas released into the has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere. Essentially it is negatively affects the climate. Thankfully, there are strategies to deal with collecting methane gas before it is released into the atmosphere. Recent landfill technology allows operators to install vents that capture the gases as it moves through the soil. This methane provides a great environmental benefit, producing more heat and light energy by mass than other hydrocarbon, or fossil fuel, including coal and gasoline refined from oil, while producing significantly less carbon dioxide and other pollutants that contribute to smog and unhealthy air. It can power you home and your electric car. There is a tremendous amount of responsibility and good faith rested upon landfill operators that they will properly manage our waste. It is a challenging task for TCEQ to audit every single operation occurring at the landfills. At West Tex Disposal we will always chose to dispose of your waste at a responsible landfill facility with an excellent team.

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