Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reduce, Reuse, and something or another...

National Recycling Coalition

Being that it's "America Recycles Day," I thought I'd post some images of the local landfill, which had a "Recycling Event"(!) a few days ago. Last time I had visited a landfill was in South San Francisco, and it looked like, well, a dump. The one here for Orange County in Florida, is comparatively almost picturesque in a Disneyworld-meets-Three Mile Island sort of way. Surprisingly, there were quite a few people at the event - perhaps a hundred and fifty or so, would be my guess.

Here's the interior of the processing center for everyone's cardboard, plastic drink bottles and jarred foods.

One of the several "mountains" of refuse that are seeded with grass - I'm not sure if they actually water these landfill heaps, but they do apparently mow them somehow. To avoid contaminated water, or leachate, the heaps do have protective membranes on them. Leachate water goes back to storage containers for treatment. All of the heaps do have pipes which allow excess methane gas to escape. Some of the heaps simply burn the gas as it escapes, and some of them collect it for powering the coal power plant nearby.

...scrubbers hard at work...

Yard waste ends up being put through a large chipper to be turned into mulch and compost. After the hurricanes, they were running out of room to store all of the excess, but have since caught up. Incidentally, mulch is available for free to residents.

One of several rows of organic matter being churned to make compost.

A view off the side of one of the largest refuse heaps. It's "home" to thousands of common grackles it seems. There are also a lot of vultures, eagles, and heron...