Municipal Solid Waste Assignment

Deliverable Length:  2–3 pages    
Points Possible: 150   

Library Research Assignment


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Municipal solid waste  (MSW) is all of the garbage, refuse, trash, or junk that gets thrown away from homes and small businesses. All of this MSW is collected and taken away. Have you ever wondered where it goes? In the 1950s and 60s, it went to open dumps. In the 1970s, landfills were established, but there were problems, and today there is new legislation and technology to better manage this waste.


For this assignment, you will review the history of MSW and complete the following:


·         Describe an open dump.

o    Explain the environmental problems.

·         Describe an early landfill.

o    What are the problems associated with early landfills?

o    Include a discussion of leachate, methane, incomplete decomposition, and settling.

·         Describe a modern landfill.

o    What are the differences as compared to early landfills?

o    What improvements have been made?

·         Choose 1 of the following landfills, and explain the innovations being implemented to make the landfill more productive and to reduce its environmental impact:

o    Mariannhill Landfill, South Africa

o    Puente Hills Landfill, California

o    Altamont Landfill, California

o    Tessman Road Landfill, Texas