Current Landfill

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Proposed Expansion
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Because the Erie Lakeview Landfill can only hold so much, researchers are trying to find a way to expand the landfill to make it last longer. According to the article Landfill Expansionby John Guerriero, the Department of Environmental Protection says that the landfill can only go 1,543 feet above sea level. Right now, it is at 1,480 feet (Landfill Expansion). The locals in Erie joke that the landfill is one of the highest points in the county. In fact, you can see the lake and even parts of Canada on a clear day from the top of the landfill- not that it would be the choicest location for sightseeing. The current size of the landfill that is used for trash is 130 acres and the proposed expansion is 90 acres. This land is located south of the current landfill. Because the space is currently the landfill’s property, Lakeview just needs to get the Department of Environmental Protection’s approval to use the property as a dumping space.
Those who support the landfill expansion argue that it will be easy because the land is right next to the current landfill and is already a “hole in the ground.” I say this because Lakeview uses the dirt from its southern property to cover up the daily garbage disposal. The people who do not support the expansion are those who are worried about the harmful toxins and odors that come from landfills. A larger landfill will lead to more and more deadly wastes. The proposed expansion is a much longer and more complicated process than one might think. According to Keith Doverspike, Lakeview’s Waste Management engineer, there are currently “eight binders, each 5 inches thick, along with 45 engineering drawings” of official documents concerning the expansion (Landfill Expansion). The expansion’s proposed cost is 40 million dollars. Summit Township, the host community of the Lakeview Landfill, receives one dollar for each ton of trash contributing to the landfill. This causes a reverse affect regarding recycling efforts. Since the county knows that it gets money for each ton of trash, the members of the community in turn will not pay as much attention to recycling. The worst part about this is that many plastics are not being recycled which causes them to sit in the landfill forever because they do not biodegrade. Therefore, more space is needed in the landfill to accommodate the extra waste.
According to Beran Environmental Services, there is one main problem affecting the creation of the expanded landfill: a stream that flows through the landfill’s proposed expansion property. Because the stream belongs to the state, the landfill is not allowed to obstruct its flow. In order to perform the expansion, Lakeview must figure out how to redirect the stream while maintaining appropriate “buffers” around it so that toxins do not seep into the water (Beran). Another side-effect of the expansion concerning the stream is that the landfill must provide the new redirected stream with a wetland habitat where fish can safely live. This stream is one of the main concerns of Waste Management while they consider the landfill expansion.