Our local landfill was all full over 20 years ago. The mountains of garbage have been covered with sheets of plastic, soil, and grass. It now has 8,744 solar panels installed on 13 acres of the mountains of trash.
Solid Waste Inspector, Denis O’Donnell, was kind enough to grant me an interview and give me a tour in December 2014.
The solar panels keep 2,030 metric tons of carbon dioxide from going into the air each year! The panels make electricity from the sun’s rays, so power stations don’t have to burn coal to make the electricity. The panels produce more than 2.9 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year. That means A LOT of dirty coal is NOT polluting our air. Our county utility company pays the Clarkstown government money for the electricity it produces.
The town also composts leaves that they collect from businesses and homes. Can you see the MOUNTAINS of leaves and gardening debris?!
We drove by 12,000 tons of composting leaves! When sufficiently broken down, Solid Waste Management gives 10% to the town free of charge. The rest they sell to private nurseries. Gardeners put it in gardens to enrich the soil, so it goes back to helping the earth. Isn’t that great idea?!
Solid Waste Management also recycles glass and cement. They are broken into fragments to fill in roadways. This has saved the town millions of dollars annually.
Here are fragments from cement blocks that are now ready to be used under roads.
Here the concrete has been broken into even smaller fragments.
Residential and commercial trash that has not been put into recycling bins gets picked up by the trash trucks. It’s taken to the transfer station you see here in the background.
The trash is loaded into these large trucks and trucked a few hundred miles to an upstate landfill. What happens when THAT’S full?
* When we throw things in the trash, it costs the town money, AND we’re running out of space to dump all our trash.
* When we recycle, the town makes money to pay for town expenses – that helps all of us. Doesn’t it make sense to recycle?!?
Lots of deer roaming the 100-acre landfill property.