Burying waste in landfills creates offensive odors and potentially dangerous gases that are capable of moving through soil into nearby buildings. The most harmful gases generated in landfills are methane, carbon dioxide, ammonia and sulfides. Methane is flammable, while carbon dioxide is known to move into buildings and displace oxygen.Know More
In the 19th and much of the 20th century, it was common for Americans to bury their waste in landfills located near wetlands and bodies of water. Gas from these landfills leaked into the water and created health hazards for those living nearby. Some landfills even exploded as a result of the presence of flammable methane.
In 1993, Congress passed a law that required landfills to be lined with plastic to prevent leaks into surrounding soil and groundwater. The law also requires owners and managers of landfills to monitor gases emitted from the sites.
Since then, many communities have reclaimed landfills, covering the garbage and converting the sites into parks and green space.
Despite control measures in place to mitigate problems stemming from landfills, many Americans are calling for greater reduction in consumption and for increased reuse and recycling to avoid having to deposit so much into existing landfills. Such people hope for a day when the country will produce zero waste.Learn more about Pollution
Causes of solid waste pollution are pollutants from households, industrial units, manufacturing units, commercial establishments, landfills, hospitals and medical clinics. The pollutants from these places may be in the form of non-biodegradable matter or non-compostable degradable matter.Full Answer >
Gaseous waste is a waste product in gas form resulting from various human activities, such as manufacturing, processing, material consumption or biological processes. Gaseous waste that is held in a closed container falls into the category of solid waste for disposal purposes.Full Answer >
Improper waste disposal can cause soil, water and air pollution, interfere with biological waste treatment processes, take up valuable landfill space, pollute lakes and beaches, and injure sanitation workers. Hazardous materials, such as paint, medicines and auto fluids, are especially dangerous to people and the environment.Full Answer >
Proper solid waste management reduces health risks to the public and lessens adverse environmental impacts, such as air, water and land pollution. Some generally accepted methods of waste disposal include using landfills, recovering and recycling, composting, incinerating and minimizing wastes.Full Answer >