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Wading Through the Waste: a Look Into the Failure of American Landfills and How Plasma Gasification Can Fix It

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Wading Through the Waste:
A look into the failure of American landfills and how plasma gasification can fix it

Joshua A. Valdez
ITT-Tech Jacksonville, Fl

America, a “throw away” society, is facing a tragic consequence of its lifestyle. Even with increased recycling efforts Americans are running out of space to put their trash. With stricter regulations and public policies, the number of landfills has significantly dropped; replaced by what are called “megafills.” Although safer, since the EPA’s introduction of strict regulations in 1988, environmental dangers still exist. That danger, amplified with the high operation costs of landfills, an alternative disposal method is needed. Plasma Gasification provides a cleaner and more efficient way of disposing waste while having the added benefit of producing energy.

Wading Through the Waste:
A look into the failure of American landfills and how plasma gasification can fix it
“Did you know that the average person produces three pounds of trash a day? I would really like to know where it all goes,” a woman asks her therapist in the 1989 movie Sex, Lies, and Videotapes. Since 1989 our trash production has increased to 4.6 pounds per individual, based on a 2007 EPA study. (EPA, 2012) America, a “throw away” society, is facing a tragic consequence of its lifestyle. Even with increased recycling efforts, Americans are running out of space to put their trash. Traditional storage of waste in landfills has seen developments in technology to reduce the environmental impacts; however, the technology still poses threats to the environment. An alternative to traditional waste management is needed to meet growing populations. Plasma gasification provides a solution to the growing pile of waste by basically eliminating the need for…...

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