Philobiblon: Reasons for the future to hate us ...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Reasons for the future to hate us ...

... all that pointless packaging, all those little-used, little-wanted appliances, all those plastic, throwaway toys go into the ground and can be forgotten, can't they? Ah, it seems, no ...

Today's landfill regulations, ranging from liner construction to post-capping oversight, mean that disposal areas like WMI's GROWS are potentially less dangerous than the dumps of previous generations. But the fact remains that these systems are short-term solutions to the garbage problem. While they may not seem toxic now, all those underground cells packed with plastics, solvents, paints, batteries and other hazardous materials will someday have to be treated since the liners won't last forever. Most liners are expected to last somewhere between 30 and 50 years. That time frame just happens to coincide with the post-closure liability private landfill operators are subject to; 30 years after a site is shuttered, its owner is no longer responsible for contamination, the public is.

Presumably the same thing is being done in Britain, a particular worry on a small, crowded island.

And there's an air of inevitability about Britain spending £20 billion on a replacement nuclear weapon system. This is to maintain Britain's "independent nuclear deterrent - except it is actually entirely dependent on the US, so where's the independence?

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is doing its best.

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