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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How landfills work

By Marshall Brain

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Every day the average American creates four to five pounds of trash. That's more than half a ton per person per year. If a million people live in your city, its more than a billion pounds of trash per year city-wide. And we don't really think about it. The trash truck comes once a week and takes it all away.

But your trash doesn't evaporate once it leaves your house. It goes to a landfill. A landfill has to act like vault that holds billions of pounds of trash essentially forever. A good bit of the trash you generate today will be around for centuries. Because your trash will last so long and because it contains all sorts of bad stuff - chemicals, diseases, heavy metals, etc. - the technology behind landfills has gotten pretty sophisticated. A landfill a lot more than a big hole in the ground. Let's take a look at how a modern landfill really works.

A typical landfill today starts with a huge piece of land. The landfill itself might be 200 acres, and it will be surrounded by many more acres to provide access and buffers. The first step to creating a landfill is to create a giant waterproof area where the trash will go. To do that, the entire landfill area is covered with two feet (or more) of hard-packed impermeable clay, and then the clay is covered with a thick layer of plastic.

The reason for this waterproof layer is to stop anything inside the landfill from leaking out. Think of all the things that end up in a landfill - stuff like diapers, strong cleaning solutions, paint, rusting metal, motor oil, corroding batteries, electronic components covered in lead and all sorts of other nasty stuff. Plus there is rain falling on the landfill all the time and percolating through the trash to hurry these chemicals along. If this kind of stuff leaks into the groundwater or nearby streams and rivers, it creates a major environmental disaster. The clay and the plastic liner keeps all the toxic liquids where they belong.

However, there needs to be a way to drain all of the water and chemicals off the liner. If you just left it there, the landfill would become a giant stinking lake of toxic ooze. So on top of the liner goes a thick layer of gravel and dirt and miles of perforated drainage pipes. These pipes gather and drain away any liquid that collects in the landfill. A big landfill will create tens of thousands of gallons of drainage every day. The pipes collect it and send it to a treatment plant.

Now that you have a waterproof basin and a system of collection pipes, the trash trucks can start arriving. They dump their trash into the landfill in a very organized way. The landfill will take a day's worth of trash and compact it into a "cell". Compacting the trash is important because it means that the landfill will last longer. The usual way to compact the trash is to drive over it again and again with heavy bulldozers. Then the cell is covered with six inches of dirt and compacted again.

The dirt seals the cell and does three things: 1) it keeps the smell down, 2) it keeps animals like seagulls and rats away from the trash, and 3) it helps the rain to run off the trash rather than soaking in. New cells are added to the landfill and sealed every day, and the landfill gets a little taller every year.

As the landfill fills, a new problem appears: The landfill starts to produce methane. Bacteria begin digesting the trash and methane is one thing that the bacteria produce. The methane is almost identical to natural gas, so a modern landfill will drill wells into the landfill, harvest the methane and either burn it off or use it as a source of energy. The landfill will produce methane for decades.

Eventually the mountain of trash will become hundreds of feet high and it is time to close the landfill. The landfill is covered with a thick layer of plastic and a couple feet of dirt. Then it is planted with shrubs and grasses. You can't plant trees because their roots would punch through the plastic and ruin the seal. The municipality will usually continue to handle the wastewater flowing out the bottom of the landfill, to harvest the methane coming up to the top, and to manage the grassy mountain as some kind of park.

Obviously this is not a perfect system. In an ideal universe, every single piece of trash would be recycled and there would be no need for landfills. But the universe is not ideal today. Perhaps in the future we will come up with a way to process all of this trash and recycle it. Then we will be able to dismantle all of these landfills and do something useful with the trillions of pounds of trash that they contain.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Previously:


How the Orion spacecraft works
The cutting edge in HDTV
Redefining the CD
How the HDMI cable scam works
How glow-in-the-dark toys work
How the subprime mortgage crisis works
How gift cards work
How Tasers work
How giant TV screens work
How foreclosure works
How Air Force One works
How wildfire fighting works
How vitamins work
How ejection seats work
How reattaching limbs works
How hot air balloons work
How paparazzi work
How counterfeiting works
How CDs work
How the Edsel worked
How Stinger missiles work
How hybrid cars work
How sharks work
How mosquitoes work
How diesel engines work
How water towers work
How the Dawn mission works
How Kassam rockets work
How the North American Eagle works
Why aren't we flying to work?
How tofu and soy milk work
How Colony Collapse Disorder works
How airbags work
How the U.S. income tax works
How gum works
How caffeine works
How Daylight Saving Time works
How a cruise missile works
How snow making works

© 2007, How Stuff Works Inc. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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