Comment of the Day: All We Are Is Mulch in the Wind

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ALL WE ARE IS MULCH IN THE WIND “. . . On the other hand, in the framework of geologic time, all things will be turned over, smashed or similarly annihilated, so, No Worries! In the short term everybody, do like the landscapers do: Drive your yard waste around town in a trailer or pick-up truck. It will vanish quickly – directly relative to your driving speed.” [movocelot, commenting on New Rules for Yard Waste]

2 Comment

  • No, not true exactly. I forget the regs that required it (it’s been 10 years since I dealt with this), but you are partially right: landfills are required by law to have leachate containment on the bottom of the landfill (an HDPE liner), leachate collection, daily soil caps, and when the landfill is closed, impervious (again, probably HDPE) liners on top. In the old days, like before 1965, trash was left in the open air, and landfill fires were common.

    Today they are sealed. This leads to a pretty anaerobic environment. This does not mean that organic materials cannot decay but the metabolic pathways that lead to their breakdown is much slower.

    Also, if you have the “bioreactor landfill”, which is not as fancy as it sounds, you are constantly, day and night recirculating leachate which contains oxygen and adding oxygen to the landfill. These types of landfills degrade organic matter several times faster than landfills that are just capped and left to sit. Of course, there is always some organic matter that will resist decomposition into water and CO2, but you will decrease the volume of the organic waste.

    So anyway, tl;dr, organic matter does decay in modern landfills.

  • So busy replying to the dorky stuff, I didn’t even catch the funny part of your comment.
    I’ve heard that this is an excellent way to get rid of whole bags of trash too. And loads of gravel, old lawn tools, and obsolete copy machines too.