About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Growing Plants And Trees On Garbage Dumps Could Help Save The Planet

by VR Sreeraman on November 27, 2008 at 12:35 PM
Font : A-A+

 Growing Plants And Trees On Garbage Dumps Could Help Save The Planet

A team of scientists has suggested that growing plants and trees on top of a landfill, a process known as 'phytocapping', could reduce the production and release of harmful greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Despite legislative pressures to reduce landfill use, in certain parts of the world, it remains the most economical and simplest method of waste disposal.

Advertisement

Biodegradation of organic matter in a landfill site occurs most rapidly when water comes into contact with the buried waste, according to Kartik Venkatraman and Nanjappa Ashwath of the Department of Molecular and Life Sciences, at Central Queensland University (CQU), Rockhampton, Australia.

They point out that conventional approaches to reducing this effect involve placing compacted clay over the top of a landfill to form a cap that minimizes percolation of water into the landfill.
Advertisement

But, according to researchers, the use of clay capping has generally proved ineffective in trials in the US.

Hence, a new technique, known as phytocapping, which involves placing a layer of top soil and growing dense vegetation on top of a landfill, was successfully trailed at Rockhampton's Lakes Creek Landfill.

This research was conducted by Venkatraman and Ashwath, in conjunction with the Rockhampton Regional Council and Phytolink Pty LTD.

Selected plant species are established on an unconsolidated soil placed over the waste. The soil acts both as "storage" and "sponge" and the plants as "bio-pumps" and "rainfall interceptors".

For an effective site water balance, it is important that appropriate plant species are chosen and the soil depth optimized.

As such, the team has investigated the effects of different ranges of species as well as soil depth.

The team's studies of the benefits of a landfill phytocap show that the approach can reduce surface methane emission four to five times more than the adjacent un-vegetated site.

They found that a cap of 1400 mm thickness also reduces surface methane emissions 45 percent more than a cap half as thick.

The benefits of phytocapping include, cutting in half the cost of landfill remediation and providing biodiversity corridors along which wild species can travel.

The process also inverts the aesthetic qualities of landfills adjacent to urban communities, and in some cases, introduces economical benefits such as timber and fodder.

"The establishment of phytocaps would offer an additional and economical way of reducing methane emission from landfills," the researchers concluded.

Source: ANI
SK
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Memory Loss - Can it be Recovered?
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Recommended Reading
Electricity from Garbage Has Immense Potential
As global warming is increasing remorselessly, various options are being tried. Generating ......
Garbage Dumping Ground in Pune Causing Health Hazards to Nearby Residents
The industrial and commercial waste generated from Pune that is dumped in Urali Devachi is creating ...
Recovery of Foetuses from Garbage Creates Panic in Bangalore
The recovery of several foetuses from a garbage dump here has created a scare that female foeticide ...
Garbage to Be Processed to Light Up the Streets in Indian State
Methane obtained from processing garbage will light up the streets of Panaji, capital of Goa....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use