Landfills - a growing menace

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA, March 1997

download word file, 6 pages 3.7

I thought this was an OK essay, it could be worked on though Thesis needs to be strengthened

Landfills- A Growing Menace

When asked to think of the largest man made structure, people will invariably

come up with an answer like The Great Wall of China, the Great Pyramids, or the Taj

Majal. In contrast to these striking achievements of mankind is the Durham Road Landfill

outside San Francisco, which occupies over seventy million cubic feet. It is a sad

monument to the excesses of modern society [Gore 151]. One must think this huge

reservoir of garbage must be the largest thing ever produced by human hands then.

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 2.9

billion cubic feet. In total acreage, it is equal to 16,000

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, from Florida to Maine. At that height, the mound will constitute a

hazard to air traffic at Newark airport [Rathje 3-4]. The area now encompassed by the

Fresh Kills (Kills is from the Dutch word for creek) Landfill was originally a tidal marsh.

In 1948, New York City planner Robert Moses developed a highly praised project to

deposit municipal garbage in the swamp until the level of the land was above sea level. A

study of the area predicted the marsh would be filled by the year 1968. He then planned to

develop the area, building houses and attracting light industry over the landfill. The Fresh...