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Fw: [GreenYes] Landfills vs. dumps
Well said, Wayne. As is often the case, it's the kids who are calling it

Elizabeth Roe
Eco Partners, Inc.
Publishers of Trash Talk! and "One Man's/Person's Trash..."
----- Original Message -----
From: "Wayne Turner" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 12:32 PM
Subject: [GreenYes] Landfills vs. dumps

> The path to enlightenment takes some strange twists sometimes.
> One of the things that still continues to amaze me when I give
presentations to school-age children is what they call the place where our
garbage goes.  Even after 25 years of RCRA, outlawed above ground dumps and
recycling education out the wazoo, most kids still respond to the question,
"Where does all of our garbage go?" with: "The dump!"  And, of course, I
always tell them of the technological wizardry associated with new, lined
landfills replete with leachate collection systems, methane recovery systems
and how we must call them 'landfills' now.  But, alas, maybe I've listened
to the siren song of the industry too long myself and have become jaded to
the innocence and unvarnished truth of youth.  Maybe they have it right.
The place where we take our garbage is NOT a landfill!  It is not filled
with land.  It is filled with garbage, discards, throwaways, the unwanted
crud of our culture.  I'm sure there are any number of people who can point
to the technical derivation !
> of the word and how proper it is.  But the fact remains, the word sounds
much too enchanting and therefore much too nice to rail against in a civil
society (NIMBY's notwithstanding).
> Doesn't it sound so much nicer to call the place where all of our rotting,
stinking, foul, commingled crud goes a landfill?  A landfill.  The word
virtually rolls off the tongue.  A landfill.  It's almost lyrical.  It makes
me to wonder how the word landfill directly translates into other languages.
It would be interesting to know what other cultures and nationalities call
the place where their crud goes.  Anyone want to post the words to allow
some cross-cultural enlightenment?  Better yet, what words do the children
from other cultures call the 'dump'?  Post the words.
> I would like to be able to say that I will never call a garbage dump a
landfill ever again.  But the bitter irony is that my salary is paid through
fees from, you guessed it, the landfill.  But I can and will stop attempting
to make a stinkweed into a rose.
> And now I'll step down from my soapbox and end my protestations.  Any
other thoughts on the matter?
> Thanks to all who listen.
> B. Wayne Turner
> City of Winston-Salem
> Utilities Division
> phone: (336) 727 8418
> email:
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