Municipal Solid Waste

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SCIE210-1202A-03 Environmental Science Unit 4 Individual Project American InterContinental University Background: Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is all of the garbage, refuse, trash or junk that gets thrown away from our homes or small businesses. All of this MSW is collected and taken away. Have you wondered where it goes? In the 1950’s and 60’s it went to open dumps. In the 1970’s landfills were established but there were problems, and today there is new legislation and technology to better manage this waste. What is an open dump? And what are the environmental problems of an open dump? An open dump is a dumping site of household trash, yard trash, old tires, old appliances and demolition trash. Which is all uncovered waste and there is no environmental controls. The problems caused by an open dump is simple to explain because the contaminates that are found in solid waste can sink into our ground water or get carried by rainwater straight into our lakes and river, which affects our drinking water and the wildlife habitats. Describe an early landfill. What are the problems associated with early landfills? Include a discussion of leachate, methane, incomplete decomposition and settling. The landfills in the early 1960’s were an consider a unsustainable way to dispose waste because half of the waste would not be decomposed and the landfill often were overfilled which often pollutants were leaked into our air and local ground water. Leachate management was unrestricted contaminant release, and there was no methane management and incomplete decomposition and settling was high because only 7 % of the waste was recycled. Describe a modern landfill. What are the differences as compared to early landfills? What improvements have been made? A modern landfill is a large area built just receiving waste. The differences from a modern landfill and an early landfill are

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