Hazards of Burning Waste: Pollution and Prevention

Topics: Pollution, Waste management, Waste Pages: 6 (1715 words) Published: September 30, 2013
Thesis Statement: Burning waste at the sanitary landfill in Philipsburg causes pests, parasites and bad odor around the residential areas. I).What is sanitary landfill
II).The sanitary landfill
a). Problems
b). cause pollutions

III). Burning waste
b). can cause serious health problems

IV. The waste from the St. Maarten Medical Center
a). Cancer patients
b). Higher sickness

V). Heavy machinery is used
a). Dirt and compressed
b). Residential Areas

VI). Diseases cause by sanitary landfill
a). Types of diseases

VI). Solutions to the problem
a). Educate the community
b). Incinerator
c). Waste reduction and sewage treatment programs

VII). Conclusion

Daniel Thomas
Mrs. Brown
English 123
October 18, 2012
Mini research

The Problem and Solutions to the Sanitary Landfill on St. Maarten
Sanitary landfills are the isolation of the land filled wastes from the environment until the waste are rendered innocuous through the biological, chemical, physical processes of nature (unep.org). A sanitary landfill purpose is to bury the trash in such a way that it will kept dry and will not be in contact with air. Under these conditions trash will not decompose much; a landfill is not like a compost pile, where the purpose is to bury trash so that it can decompose quickly. For years the landfill at Pond Island has been the official dumping place for nearly all the waste streams produced in St. Maarten. Burning waste at the sanitary landfill causes pest, parasites and bad odor around the residential areas. The sanitary landfill located in Philipsburg, better known as “The Dump” is poorly maintained and has posed problems in the area. According to an article in the Daily Herald, “it comes by truckload every hour of the day and end up right in the middle of our commune”. The sanitary landfill contributes to problems such as air pollution, creating habitat for pests and insects such as rats, mice, and mosquitoes, and at times creates a bad odor. These problems have been made aware to the government and as a result, the government has presented a solution which they plan to execute in the near future. Pollution can be caused by burning or burying the garbage. Burying garbage also causes both air and water pollution, and simply transporting it to the sites consumes an increasing amount of valuable fossil fuels, which produces more pollution and other problems. Burying trash in a landfill causes contamination to the environment because they contaminate watercourses, groundwater, and they pollute the air with gasses produced by the landfill. One of the major, if not the most problematic aspects of the sanitary landfill are the air pollution created by burning waste. These landfill fires release fine ash and potentially cancer-causing substances and therefore pose both immediate and long-term health risks to those exposed to the smoke, gases and toxic fumes. The hazard and level of toxicity of landfill fires depends on the length of exposure to them and on the type of material that is burning. Landfill fires generally release high levels of Carbon Monoxide (CO) which is harmful when inhaled as it displaces oxygen in the lungs thereby depriving the brain, heart and other vital organs of oxygen which can cause permanent damage (sxmislandtime). On the May 10, 2010, the entire Philipsburg area was covered in thick smoke which came from the burning waste of “The Dump.” According to a resident, the thick smoke entered her home; giving it a bad burn smells (Personal Interview). Not only does the smoke carry along infuriating ashes around the neighborhood, but it is believed to contain harmful chemicals and toxins. There are many toxic substances emitted when burning plastic, rubber, Styrofoam, vinyl etc (Shape Our Future through our youth).

Fig . 1. Shows how heavy and thick the smoke can get when...

Cited: Anonymous. Personal Interview.November 15, 2012.
Hendrik-Jan G. van Leperen. Personal Interview. November, 2012.
Tel@dvance N.V. "Shaping our future through our youth." Volume 1. St.Maarten Youth Leadership, 1997. Print.
"sxmislandtime". St. Maarten is concern about consequences of fires at the landfill.2010. web. 28 Nov. 2012.
"unep.org". n.d. web. 28 Nov. 2012.
"icrc,org", n.d. web. 29 Nov. 2012
"barcann.livejournal.com" n.d
"Ehow.com".n.d. web. 1 Dec. 2012.
"enviropedia.org.uk". n.d. web. Dec 4. 2012.
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