Saluting Earth Month Heroes: Landfills

For week #3 of Earth month, we’re applauding the waste industry, specifically Landfills, for their monumental rise from eco-destroyers to eco-warriors. Throughout Earth Month, Alliance has been honoring our industry partners dedicated to preserving our planet. 

As much as everyone tries to recycle, we all still generate garbage that needs disposal. The most common destination is “the dump”— slang for the landfill. Original landfills weren’t managed as responsibly as they are today. They were located too close to cities, towns, and residential areas where waste is generated. These smelly, poorly run landfills often leaked, allowing contaminated leachate to seep into aquifers. 

With the introduction of the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in the 1970s, waste handling began to change. The backyard landfills were eradicated and replaced by today’s modern mega-fills located far from residential areas. 

In a mega-fill, heavy-duty polymer liners are used to prevent leachate from impacting groundwater. Instead, any leachate is collected and treated before the water is returned to the environment.  


Methane: The Unobvious Mega Hero

Organic matter decays in landfills, releasing methane, which is the primary component of natural gas. In the past, this valuable resource was wasted through flaring. Now, with modern technology, most landfill gas is used to generate electricity through internal combustion engines or turbines, powering electrical generators. This innovation has generated more than 1,000,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually from renewable gases. 

Alliance Technical Group is proud to be part of the network of specialists who make modern landfills work so well. Our critical laboratory services enable landfill operators to verify the efficacy of their wastewater systems. Additionally, our stack testing services play a vital role in ensuring engine and turbine emissions comply with stringent EPA regulations. 

So, the next time you put that bag of household waste on the curb, don’t feel guilty. You’re still recycling, you’re just recycling energy and that’s good for the environment too. 


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