Landfill and the Environment
Similar to sewage treatment facilities, landfill sites are one of those things which everybody needs and uses in terms of their rubbish finding its way to them, but which nobody wants near them. This is because despite their uses, there are a number of negative aspects associated with them.
Landfill sites have existed, albeit in smaller forms, for thousands of years. One of the simplest forms of waste disposal, people have been removing undesirable rubbish away from where they live and dumping it out of sight where it can decay naturally. This worked fine up until recent times where the boom in population has meant that in many countries there is little open space left upon which to site a landfill rubbish site without it affecting somebody living nearby. Also, the increased population and greater number of products available than ever before (and their associated packaging material) means that a far greater quantity of waste is being produced compared to previous generations. As a result, landfill sites have needed to increase in both their size and number, which again can put authorities into conflict with local residents.
Landfill sites can be unpopular with residents as they often have the following attributes associated with them:
Visual Impact - Landfill sites are eyesores, and the fact that they are situated away from populated areas as much as possible means that they will nearly always be built in an area of natural beauty, which is not popular with people.
Smell - Decaying rubbish stinks, and the smell given off is extremely unpleasant for those unfortunate enough to be downwind of the site.
Vermin and Scavengers - A lot of the rubbish sent to a landfill site is uneaten foodstuffs which will attract creatures such as rats and foxes to the area searching for things to eat. These can then visit nearby houses, which does not go down well with the human inhabitants!
Methane Gas - Decaying rubbish also produces methane gas which if not properly controlled through monitoring and venting if necessary can cause explosions, not to mention other risks to the health of people living nearby.
Traffic and Noise - Landfill sites will be frequently visited by large trucks which deliver their cargo to the site. There is also likely to be machinery on the site which is used for tasks such as moving or compacting the rubbish deposited there. All of this machinery can contribute to an increase in noise and traffic levels which will both disturb and annoy local residents.