GreenYes Archives

[GreenYes Home] - [Thread Index] - [Date Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]


[GreenYes] Re: EU conclusion on bioreactors


Hello there,

On Alan's point about leachate degradation of rubber/plastic liners, some years back I helped Lane County, Oregon avoid a costly mistake when they discovered that their hillside landfill between Eugene and Cottage Grove had sprung multiple leaks that were draining leachade into the Willamette River via Camas Swale, a wetland located at the foot of the landfill.  The county solid waste people wanted to build a seven-mile plastic pipeline to take the collected leachade to the municipal sewage treatment plant in Eugene, a public works project that would have cost many millions and that would have created pressure for urban sprawl on both sides of the new sewer main.  The argument that won the day for onsite treatment (still only a palliative, but better than the pipeline) was strong research evidence I summarized in an Op-ed piece for the Eugene Register-Guard that common solvents such as trichlorethelyene easily migrate through plastic barriers, even rigid plastic ones, and that over time, continued migration accelerates erosion, decomposition, and failure of the plastic barriers.  So yes, I believe Alan is right that adding water (a powerful solvent) to all the other known and unknown solvents present in mixed-waste landfills will increase hydrostatic pressure, greatly increase mass that wants to flow downhill in response to gravity, and accelerate degradation of rubber/plastic liners.

In general when a generally-accepted principle is upended in favor of its opposite, as when "dry tomb" landfilling as best landfill practice suddenly changes to "saturate it with water" landfilling, the public has every right to smell a rat.  

As I said in an earlier post, my hypothesis as to why waste companies are so strong for bioreactorism right now is that it would ultimately shrink the volume of the landfill contents, so that the companies might apply for extending permitted airspace on top of the old cells and keep their heavily subsidized mix/mash/bury profit machine going a few years longer.  Maybe I'm wrong about this, but it seems plausible given the difficulty landfill fans now have convincing others to go along with their preferences and grant them new permitted airspace above whatever new virgin wetland or headwaters area they pick next.  Also it allows them to do more greenwashing by claiming to generate energy from stuff no one wants, which they manufacture with their collection methods.

Yours for source separation and an end to phony "recycling" technologies of all stripes and types.

Dan Knapp
Urban Ore, Inc.

 
On Feb 12, 2008, at 1:39 PM, Alan Muller wrote:

Folks,

If the only data point we had was the WMI wanted something, that would be enough to label it as bad idea.

But if that isn't enough, just look at the actual recovery (percentage) of gases from dumps even under favorable circumstances.

I haven't seen any data, but would think that recirculating the leachate would increase the levels of toxins in landfill gas as well as the release of gaseous toxins into the ambient air.  I would also think this would increase the "strength" of the leachate, which would probably accelerate degradation of rubber/plastic liners.

An all-around horrible idea.

am

At 02:31 PM 2/12/2008 -0600, Reindl, John wrote:
Eric,
 
You made the statement:
 
 Never mind that Europe looked at bioreactors long ago and rejected them in any and all forms as unsafe and unable to keep pollution from the environment.

 
When I served on a committee on the future of materials management, I did a lot of reading of government and research organization documents and never found such a statement. I had hoped that you could provide such a document.
 
John
-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Lombardi [ mailto:eric@no.address]
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 2:20 PM
To: Reindl, John; 'Helen Spiegelman'; 'GreenYes'
Subject: RE: [GreenYes] Re: EU conclusion on bioreactors

John,
 
My comment comes not from a source document, but from my personal work experiences with European waste experts over the last ten years.  I have had the good fortune to work with some incredible people across the ocean, and some of them may be on this list (or lurking).   I remember discussing the bioreactor situation with them almost five years ago and they thought it was funny how one large private corporation (Waste Management Inc) was going to take America down a path that the EU had already decided wasn?t a good choice.
 
And I?m not sure you?re right that the EU Directive came before bioreactors, although I don?t have the documents to back me up.  Do you?  And I agree with Helen? the EU is aggresively shutting down the landfill as an option over the next 10 years and the way they are doing it is to LIMIT (and nearly prohibit) the amount of biodegradable material allowed to go in.  Hmmm? I wonder why that was their chosen strategy?
 
Eric

 
-----Original Message-----
From: GreenYes@no.address [ mailto:GreenYes@no.address] On Behalf Of Reindl, John
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 7:08 AM
To: Helen Spiegelman; GreenYes
Subject: [GreenYes] Re: EU conclusion on bioreactors
 
Hi Helen ~
 
My sense is that the EU Directive was promulgated before the concept of bioreactors was fully developed.
 
It seems to me not a rejection, per se, but selection of a different path, when fewer pathes were available.
 
And, the EU still allows organics in landfills, thus those landfills still have the long term issues related to organics to deal with.
 
John
-----Original Message-----
From: GreenYes@no.address [ mailto:GreenYes@no.address]On Behalf Of Helen Spiegelman
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2008 5:00 PM
To: GreenYes
Subject: [GreenYes] Re: EU conclusion on bioreactors
Interesting question raised here: since the EU Directive set limits on the % of organics in landfills doesn't this amount to a de-facto rejection of bioreactor landfills?

H.

At 02:14 PM 2/11/2008, Reindl, John wrote:

Hi Eric ~
 
Could you provide an official EU or other European agency document that shows that they have examined and rejected bioreactors "in any and all forms and as unsafe and unable to keep pollution from the environment"?
 
I served on a committee that looked at accelerating the time frame at which waste disposal sites would degrade material in them and looked at what was going on in the EU,  but was not fortunate enough to come up with any references that included that conclusion.
 
Thanks much,
 
John
-----Original Message-----
From: GreenYes@no.address [ mailto:GreenYes@no.address]On Behalf Of Eric Lombardi
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2008 12:02 PM
To: pdunn@no.address; 'GreenYes'
Subject: [GreenYes] Re: Michigan bill could repeal landfill ban on yard waste
  Never mind that Europe looked at bioreactors long ago and rejected them in any and all forms as unsafe and unable to keep pollution from the environment. 
Eric


 
 
<BR







[GreenYes Home] - [Date Index] - [Thread Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]