The Fargo Landfill: A Remediation Leading to Reuse for Refuse
Hejl, Phyllis Carol
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The U.S. has approximately 3,091 active landfills which take in about 279 million tons of garbage annually (How Landfill's Work website). Since 1990, more than 11 billion tons of domestic and foreign waste has been disposed of in the United States. This is equivalent to covering every acre in the nation with 4.7 tons of waste. As the population rises, so does the amount of waste generated and the need for somewhere safe to put it. Landfills are usually capped and forgotten about, or not put to an appropriate reuse. They can also pose a very serious threat to the environment and people around them. Most problems occur when landfills close. Current techniques do not remediate the waste; they simply cover it up. The creation of new landfills faces stiff opposition from every angle. No one wants to live or work near a landfill, and they should not be located in the wilderness at the expense of our natural areas. Our country is rapidly entering into a garbage crisis and something needs to be done. The Fargo area currently has more space to deal with waste so we do not feel the pinch yet. But per capita, people here create just as much waste as the rest of the country. We need to start planning now for better waste disposal and remediation. The Fargo landfill has already taken some steps toward becoming environmentally conscious by installing 20 methane collection pipes and using bio-diesel in all the trucks and bulldozers. Despite these efforts, the process needs to be refined to make the Fargo site safe for its surrounding environment and provide an adaptive reuse. In doing so, the site will become an asset to the city rather than a liability. I propose the implementation of a closed-circuit system for land filling as well as bio and phyto remediation, and a showcase for waste handling and treatment for the city of Fargo. The landfill will become a place for students, civic groups, and others to come and learn what happens to the waste they create, and what affect it has on the environment.