When it comes to consuming products, society excels, and even with options like recycling, there is still a buildup from overusing without sustainability. Once an individual has finished with an item and takes it out for curbside pickup, many materials get taken to a landfill instead of recycled.

A main issue that makes this behavior problematic is that as the materials decompose, they create a harmful gas called methane. Once the methane is released, it goes into the atmosphere and significantly contributes to global warming.

The landfill itself has multiple adverse effects that need to be a consideration. Particularly with developed societies, the range of waste can run between food and up to used electronics, not to mention the industrial-like refinery sludges that must get disposed of under rigid regulations.

Ecosystem Issues

Creating a landfill can contribute to altering between 30 and 300 different species in a hectare. And specific issues can arise, like an exchange of species. This means native birds can be replaced with scavenger alternatives or local vegetation with more invasive or unwanted versions.

Pollutants in the Groundwater

Another problem is when rainfall occurs, and the materials dissolve they run into the underground water sources. The problem with this grows because the chemicals develop a system that needs a higher level of oxygen, essentially stealing it from the water and any organic matter that may rely on it.

A secondary problem with this is that if the toxins start to reach the larger bodies of water like a river, this can create much more significant issues for anything living in that ecosystem.

Soil Problems

The local soil will be affected if the substances leach into the area, reducing the natural health and potentially altering the vegetation's ability to flourish and grow.

Personal Dilemmas

In most areas, landfills are considered unwelcome by the individuals who live there. Not only are they unsightly to look at, but they are also potentially hazardous as they can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

The landfill causes an increase in traffic and noise from outside individuals bringing in the garbage and work done on-site. The other concern is pests such as rats or mice moving in, which can bring their health issues.

Hazardous Materials

There are multiple materials considered potentially harmful to the health of individuals. With these chemicals comes different levels listed by the EPA and can include issues like ignitability and toxicity.

These are the main concerns for having appropriate resources for disposal and containment to prevent adverse effects on an individual's health. If these are not correctly disposed of, they will end up in the landfill, causing further issues for the area.

The Smell

One other area that becomes problematic for individuals who live near the area is the odor. Even with part of the methane converted to alternative electricity, there is still an unpleasant smell from the gases that leave the waste.

Management Systems

The argument is that there are a few positives to having landfills, such as:

●        Convenience of use

●        Energy generation

●        Resource to keep the area clean

While these can be considered valid reasons for utilizing landfills, we can apply other methods for sustainability.

Alternative Methods

Fortunately, some waste processing management systems offer recycling, storage, and appropriate disposal methods depending on the waste. In addition, landfills have different containment systems to help with the smell and health concerns that may be problematic.

There is also specialized equipment that can use the decomposing material and incinerate it to create an alternative source for electricity. Consumers can contribute by using less and practicing sustainable methods like recycling to foster a different landfill outcome.

The Simple Fact

Significant amounts of items in landfills do not get sorted for recycling and are left to decompose there. This means that there needs to be a greater understanding that individuals have a responsibility to promote sustainability to ease the burdens on the local environment. With consumers being the primary reason for the production of waste, offering more education and alternative solutions can help.

The cons outweigh the pros when it comes to having landfills, and considering they are full of waste that should not be there, they have various pollutants that can come from their use, and they are bad for the environment. There needs to be more focus on altering how items are consumed and disposed of in our society for long-term prevention.

LJP Waste Solutions specializes in zero-landfill initiatives and offers sustainable waste solutions for individuals and companies. Our primary goal is to create an environmentally friendly and sustainable way to provide new alternatives for disposal and recycling.

We offer 25 years of experience, and we pride ourselves on creating an educational experience for our clients, so call us today at 507-625-1968 or click here to set up your free consultation.