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Posted by: harrisandyou | July 1, 2012

Landfill Field Trip

Saturday, June 30th the Zero Waste class went to Frank B. Bowerman’s Landfill in Irvine.  It was so interesting to see what happens to our trash.  First we were shown different lifts.  These look like regular landscaped hills.  They were very nice. I was expecting to see trash which we saw later.  This showed how each layer builds up over time.  We were also shown the leachate tanks which collects the groundwater and is usually treated and reused.

Our driver Robert has worked at the landfill for 25 years.  He has seen a lot and he’s very knowledgeable. He told us and showed us how asphalt from street repairs is brought in, broken up and they use it at the landfill to put on top of the dirt road so when the road is wet the trucks still have traction. He then took us to the area where the waste company’s trucks dump the trash.  The trash is ground and crushed using a huge tractor that has metal wheels with spikes on them.  Another tractor brings the dirt in to cover the trash.  At the end of the day when they are not done covering all the trash, they are required to use giant canvas tarps to cover it up at night.  The tarps are removed the next day so they can finish the “cell”.  By covering the trash it reduces the methane gas and leachate. It is also covered with mulch so you do not smell the trash.

We also went to the OC Hazardous Waste Collection Center.  Here residents can drop off spray paints, paints, car oil, car polish, garden sprays, etc. It was interesting to see how well run it is.  A maximum of 125 pounds may be transported per vehicle. There is also an area where you can take any of the paints, garden sprays, etc. that other people have dropped off.  Reusing – great idea!

Thanks Kimberly for a great field trip!

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