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[greenyes] Impact of Bioreactor Landfills on Recycling and Composing

As the fact that today's inexpensive liner-based landfills are fatally
flawed becomes inescapable, the waste industry is attempting to keep
landfills at the center of our material management policy by pushing
bioreactors. In a bioreactor, instead of attempting to keep the waste load
dry, the site is deliberately flooded in an attempt to increase
stabilization of the site before it is abandoned. If the problem is the
organic fraction of the discard stream (the 67% of the material landfilled
today consisting largely of unrecycled paper, food scraps and green wastes)
that keeps the landfill biologically active for long periods of time, the
alternative is to source separate the organics for composting, just like we
separate the bottles, cans and newspapers for recycling.

Here is an excerpt from a landfill engineering conference on that choice:

From Presentation at the NZ Conference on Environmental Geotechnics,
Newcastle, Australia, 28-30 November 2001.

Bioreactor landfills: Do they work?

by S.T.S. Yuen

University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

"The recent trend in solid waste management, including Australia, to divert
decomposable waste such as green waste away from landfills has certain
implications. The concept of bioreactor landfills is logically incompatible
with recycling/composting of organic waste. The two approaches belong to two
extreme alternatives of an integrated management system - we need to dispose
decomposable waste into landfills in order to make them bioreactors, which
contradicts the idea of filtering out degradable waste for

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