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THE LANDFILLS INFRASTRUCTURE What is the largest construction you can think of Does a landfill come to your mind Probably not One of the largest buildings on the face of the earth is the Pyramid of the sun constructed in Mexico and covers approximately thirty million cubic feet of space Now if you think that is big just imagine an even larger structure a landfill that occupies over seventy million cubic feet of biosphere we are talking about the Durham Road landfill outside San Francisco It is a sad monument indeed to the excesses of modern society Gore 151 One might assume such a monstrous mound of garbage is the largest thing ever produced by human hands Unhappily this is not the case The Fresh Kills Landfill located on Staten Island is the largest landfill in the world It sports an elevation of 155 feet an estimated mass of 100 million tons and a volume of 29 billion cubic feet In total acreage it is equal to 16000 baseball diamonds Miller 526 By the year 2005 when the landfill is projected to close its elevation will reach 505 feet above sea level making it the highest point along the Eastern Seaboard Florida to Maine At that height the mound will constitute a hazard to air traffic at Newark airport Rathje 3-4 A modern state-of-the-art sanitary landfill is a graveyard for garbage where deposited wastes are compacted spread in thin layers and covered daily with clay or synthetic foam In a landfill there are four major sections The bottom liner layers of clay or synthetic flexible membrane a leachate collections system collection of badly contaminated water from landfills a cover it is an umbrella that covers the landfill preventing water to get inside and the natural hydrogeologic system the actual terrain surrounding the landfill The modern landfill is covered with impermeable layers of clay sand and plastic before any garbage is
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