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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Landfills Into Forests

I had a recent entry wherein I was speculating about garbage management. I mentioned the possibility of dumping on a valley and then covering those up and planting trees.  Far fetched?  Apparently not.

In New York, one of the biggest landfills was transformed into a park.  Called the Fresh Kills Park, it's three times the size of Central Park or around 2,200 acres!  And it's not the only one.  The Leichner Landfill (in Utah I believe) will also be transformed into something ecologically friendly. 

Landfills require six (6) inches of soil everyday to cover the day's dump to prevent the latter from making contact with the air.  To turn it into a park will require a tremendous amount of soil.  What struck me in one of the articles I read was that the cheapest way to get the needed amount of soil was to generate it yourself by composting. 

So now my thoughts branch out.  First point: I'm sure there are concerns about walking around in what used to be a highly toxic dump.  Well don't turn it into a park; turn it into a forest instead.  Plant and nurse the trees and leave them be.  Let the trees quietly provide us with oxygen even as the toxic levels are lowered.  And if there are walls surrounding the place, there won't be any illegal loggers.  We can leave the place like that for a couple of decades.

The second point is that the city should buy compost at the barangay level. If we place a monetary value on it, maybe we'll see some composting at the residential level.  If it's worth a few bucks a month, why not?  We should give it a try.

A couple of tidbits I also got is that one of the richest women in the world made her fortune by buying paper from landfills and selling the same to China!  Imagine that.  Paper is the single biggest "content" of landfills.  I better examine the junk shop business model again.  Could be worth something in the future.


8 comments:

  1. I live in New York but I've never heard about this. I hope giant radioactive flowers don't take over.

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  2. What if they become carnivore plants?! That'll be a mess.

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  3. Very interesting. I never really thought about Fresh Kills Park.

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  4. Fresh Kills Park? That's new to me. So much bigger than Central Park? Where can it be? ff to Google it now.

    Ooo, and I see you like jazz too - always great to meet a fellow believer. Nothing like The Jazz to fill the soul with ease and light.

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  5. Ah ha -- I did check it out and see this is the news...

    Freshkills Park March Birding Tour

    Sunday, March 28, 2010

    10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

    Sounds like fun!

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  6. Hello there fellow jazz enthusiast! Let me know if you get to see Fresh Kills and if there are radioactive carnivorous plants there.

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  7. Another idea would be to terrace some of these landfill "mountains" you see when driving around (e.g., the one just off Rt. 91 as you're driving south into Hartford) and landscape them creatively. They could become quite the spectacle -- sort of the modern-day equivalents of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

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  8. Yep, that could work too! We can call it the Hanging Landfill of New York! ;-)

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