GARBAGE, the FUTURE
- Category: August/September 2012 - Fall Events
- Published on Friday, 27 July 2012 00:00
Letter to the Editor
A while ago, the foremost controversy in this area was Dumpsite 41. That project was eventually cancelled and rightly so. Now I hear that the current dumpsite in Oro-Medonte has a life expectancy of 6 years. Rumour has it that after that another dumpsite, ‘12’, I think, will be expanded as a replacement. There is also controversy regarding a proposed recycling operation on the 7th line of Oro.
The main concern with all of this is contamination, the leaching of contaminants into the ground water. And so it should be. When rain falls on a landfill, three things happen. Some water evaporates and returns to the atmosphere to fall as rain elsewhere. Some water runs off into the surface water system to go who knows where. Some water will percolate into the ground water system. Oh yes, I have heard of impermeable membranes with a life span of 20 years and a seam life of 2 years, etc., etc., obviously a useless combination. No matter what, the end result is entry into the water system. The only question is when, where and how much. BUT WHY IS THIS ALLOWED TO HAPPEN?
In 1994, I was in Europe. I saw no sign of garbage dumps but did see garbage trucks. I finally asked what became of garbage. The answer was, “What garbage? We don’t have any garbage”.
I found out that garbage disposal facilities were in URBAN areas. They recycled as much as possible and incinerated the remainder. The heat from the incineration process was used to generate electrical power, the residual heat from the generators went to structural heating while the fly ash went for light weight building products. THERE WAS and is NO GARBAGE.
Oh, yes, I have heard the concerns about gas emissions from the incinerators. All I can say is it was not a concern in 1994 in Europe and I am quite sure that incinerator and scrubbing technologies have improved in the intervening 20 years.
We do not need more landfills. We do need viable long term solutions. We do need knowledgeable, forward thinking and creative bureaucrats and politicians. With the 6 year life span of the current dumpsite we need solutions. We need them now.