Landfill stinks

landfill solution

By Nick Dimmock, Director of Investor Relations at 350PPM

And we’re not just talking about the smell. The whole concept of landfill is a horrendous blight on the environment and the long-term impact, even after landfill sites have stopped accepting waste, can still be felt for decades.

The 2,200-acre Apex Regional Landfill in Las Vegas receives about 9,000 tons of municipal solid waste daily. It is the biggest in the US and has a projected life of 250 years.

According to the International Solid Waste Association, a roadmap for closing waste dumpsites determined that landfill sites currently contain approximately 40% of the world’s waste and that the 50 largest landfill sites impact the daily lives of 64 million people — that’s equivalent to the entire population of France.

There’s no arguing that the impact of landfills is catastrophic. But why are landfill sites so harmful to the environment?

Even when done in a controlled manner, burying municipal waste in the ground inevitably has an impact on our environment.

The biogas produced by landfill sites, a mixture primarily formed of methane gas (CH₄) and carbon dioxide (CO₂), is released into the atmosphere and contributes to global warming.

Until its closure in December of 2011, the 927-acre Bordo Poniente landfill in Mexico City received 12,000 of the 15,000 tons of waste generated in the city daily, and it is estimated that 1.5 million tons of methane gas is generated there annually.

Some landfills have degassing methods, which is an improvement on conventional landfills, but still has its drawbacks. Degassing is usually performed after the landfill cell has been closed, so methane from the more readily biodegradable components will have already been released into the atmosphere before degassing occurs. Horizontal degassing projects that aim to capture methane while the landfill cell is still in operation achieve better results, but they can only capture a portion of the methane generated.

Sometimes the methane produced by waste from landfill sites can cause explosions and fires. This downside is more common than meets the eye because the fires that occur are not ordinary fires with flames, but fires that occur inside the landfill. Dioxin emissions from these spontaneous uncontrolled fires are also very harmful to the environment, not to mention the damaging effects they have on aquifers, whose waterproofing membranes are affected by the fire.

As you can imagine, landfill sites are often responsible for the contamination of soil and groundwater, as the contaminating materials, such as lead and mercury, that the stored waste may contain can spread to the soil and water near the site.

Whilst it is uncommon for the waterproofing membranes to rupture, when they do, it has a devastating effect on the environment.

Landfill sites have particularly negative effects on bird migration. There has been an increasing number of cases of species that have stopped migrating to the south and are instead choosing to nest in areas near landfill sites thanks to the endless food supply they provide. When birds feed on landfill, they inevitably ingest plastic, aluminium, gypsum and other materials that are common among waste. This can prove to be fatal, and also causes generational trends, because their young ignore traditional migratory behaviour, and the whole problem is exacerbated.

Aside from environmental impact, catastrophic accidents can occur at landfill sites. In 2017, the 36-hectare Addis Ababa landfill site in Ethiopia collapsed, causing an estimated 113 deaths. Only a month later, the Meethotamulla landfill site in Sri Lanka suffered a landslide, leaving more than 30 people dead, dozens missing, and more than 140 houses destroyed. In 2020, two workers were killed when the Zaldívar landfill site in Spain, which houses some 700,000 tons of waste, collapsed, and there were reports from employees that asbestos was pouring out of control. Rain, spontaneous combustion, decomposition and excessive accumulation of waste can turn landfill sites into unstable terrain where landslides or collapses are very dangerous for plant workers and the surrounding areas.

Furthermore, the bad smells that emanate from landfill sites cannot be effectively controlled and, almost inevitably, reach nearby populations. Property prices plummet in the unfavourable areas surrounding landfills, and this further perpetuates the devaluation of disadvantaged areas.

Whichever way you look at it   thewhole concept of landfill stinks.

UK-based GreenMine is in the process of deploying technology which can process existing legacy landfill waste as well as new waste-producing marketable offtakes. The technology addresses serious environmental, social and urban issues caused by toxic landfill sites and the ongoing legacy of high maintenance capped landfill sites emitting noxious gases into the atmosphere contributing to health issues in surrounding urban areas.

If you are interested in investing in technology that will fast-track this ground-breaking solution to the world’s landfill problem, contact investment@pyrolysise.com

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Aleem Aftab

IT & Infrastructure

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Grants, Subsidies & Credits

Colm has extensive experience of green and environmental inventions through his work as a multilingual translation professional specializing in intellectual property (IP) and marketing since 2015. He is a Qualified Member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and provides language services both as a freelancer and agency owner. His background spans various countries and industries including recycling, finance, tourism, education, telecommunications and software. Colm is a keen supporter of initiatives and innovation for sustainable development. He is delighted to contribute to the GreenMine team by strengthening its fundraising efforts.

Dr Jacqui Taylor

Clean Tech Advisor

Dr Jacqui Taylor is #15 Most Influential Woman in UK Technology and one of 21 Most Inspiring Women in Cyber she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of her 25 years of international web science research to deliver an equity agenda for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). She founded the Empathy Economy and pivoted her company FlyingBinary to meet the challenges of Web 3.0, the Metaverse IIoT with spectacular results. As one of the Top 100 European Angel Funders she has mentored many hundreds of 7,8,9 figure Founders including three unicorns, one on their way to decacorn. She is an Expert Advisor to the UK, EU, G20 and the United Nations on the future of technology and its impact on the sustainability agenda. As a High-level climate leader recognised by the UN for the delivery Net Zero 2030 plan she works with Fortune 500 clients to accelerate and implement their climate commitments. Her own personal commitment to climate change is the delivery of climate champion resources to her investment network, and over 10 million Empathy Economy businesses in 173 countries.

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Public Relations

An experienced, strategic PR and marketing professional with more than 20 years under her belt. Latterly, she has held several key senior roles including PR director, regional director and managing director of a satellite site at a fully integrated marketing agency.

She has worked across a variety of sectors including energy and renewables.

Amanda Jack

Investor Relations

Amanda has recently joined GreenMine as part of the Investor Relations team. She is delighted to be working with such a great team on these exciting, innovative projects. Prior to this she worked at CIBC for 17 years with the Investment Banking team and the Equities desk. She was responsible for their international roadshows and client events. Client relationships have been a main part of her previous roles, and it is something which she enjoys.

Paul Vousden

Corporate Communication

Experienced and successful senior executive. A seasoned entrepreneur who built his own PR and marketing company from zero to a million-pound fee business; followed by an interim career in large public and private sector organizations.

He has worked with many early-stage companies on strategic planning, market positioning and raising investment.

Helen Passfield

Head of Finance

Renewable energy asset management positions within major developers and fund managers from 2010. A founder member in several energy businesses and instrumental in their expansion and financing. Helen’s specialisation is wind, solar and BESS construction and asset management, she has worked on projects globally.

Nicholas Dimmock

Head of Investor Relations

Involved in the environmental sector since 2007, with over 50 environmental projects from municipal solid waste composting in India, to 1500 MW hydroelectric projects in Ecuador and the pre-construction development of over 260MW of solar sites in Mexico.

Chris Farmer

Project Manager

A qualified Chartered Surveyor, specialising in minerals, waste and environmental management. Chris has worked in the mineral extraction and waste management sectors for 25 years, involved in a wide range of disciplines including quarry and landfill site development. Since 2011, Chris has run his own waste brokerage and consultancy business, achieving sales over £40M.