Since the beginning of civilization, there has always been this question, “Where are we going to put all of our waste?” Well before the late 1800; garbage, which consisted of spoiled food, broken items, and sewage, was simply thrown on to the street. The issue was that such habits gave rise to diseases and had numerous sanitation problems, thus garbage-men were born. They transported the trash on the streets to be burned, buried, or dumped into the ocean. Today, we have landfills for our garbage.
Now a properly managed dump can be a very safe, almost cleanly area. It is when there is no real order, when people who have no real experience with managing such a project, that these places become a serious hazard to the environment and to the everyday citizen. It is my concern however that there are few, if any, properly managed landfills in the Bahamas; especially in the Family Islands. Why? Because our main solution to freeing up dump space is burning it.
So what’s the problem, sounds like an easy solution right? Wrong! Landfills produce methane gas (CH4) due to the decomposition, and many times the gas combusts on its own due to a rise in temperature in its area, without human intervention. So you’re pretty much asking to get blown up every time you set it ablaze. By burning landfills indiscriminately, CH4 is released into the atmosphere, CH4 is a much more potent greenhouse gas then Carbon Dioxide (CO2), even though it only stays in the atmosphere for a decade. In a study