Landfills

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There are two active landfills in the Davis outskirts. One is the Yolo County Central Landfill and the other is the UC Davis Landfill.

The hill between the Blue Max Kart Club and PVUSA was the active landfill for Davis through at least the early 1970s.

There are also numerous retired landfills that should be documented here.

Message from Paul Palmer — March 26, 2007

The word "landfill" was invented some time in the 1970's by the garbage industry to replace the less savory but very descriptive word "dump". It makes the concept of dump seem less repulsive and is therefore part of a promotional effort by the garbage industry to sell the dump concept. As such, no one in the recycling or zero waste or environmental movement should ever use the term landfill but should insist on the more raw term "dump". Those who oppose the idea of throwing garbage into holes in the ground should not be swayed by the government's use of landfill, such as in "Yolo County Landfill" but should insist on replacing the name with "Yolo County Dump" in all communications and public testimony.

The pictures in this Wiki show seagulls alighting on the UCD dump. In California, every dump is required to exclude sea gulls (known along with rodents in garbage terminology as "vermin") from all dumps. To accomplish this, the dump operators traditionally covered the "working face" i.e. the day's garbage, with dirt every day. In 1995, the dumpers realized that they could use this habit to create bogus recycling numbers that would meet the requirements of AB 939 (1989) that mandate constantly rising recycling rates. They prevailed upon Bustamonte to carry a bill, known as AB 1647, which gave them permission to take any element of garbage (except organic which might attract vermin but including compost), spread it on the dump (at the working face) and call it Alternative Daily Cover (ADC). This in lieu of covering with dirt. The payoff is that when they do this, the ADC is allowed by law to be called RECYCLING. In other words, they can take a large tonnage out of the garbage column of their reports and arbitrarily move it into the Recycling column. As a result of this clear scam, the recycling rates have skyrocketed, even though nothing changed in the dump. The recyclers need to familiarize themselves with this situation as governments continually use these bogus recycling numbers to sit on their hands and preen themselves for their high recycling rates. In Marin County for example, the recycling rate in 2006 is reported to be 77% which is outrageously inflated ( a more realistic rate might be 10 to 20 percent) even though every obstacle to recycling is in place there, such as single, mixed garbage pickup and domination by a garbage company. There is not even any definition of how long a day is so the dumper can transfer garbage to ADC every hour (for example) and call it "daily" cover (I don't know if this is actually done but the law allows it).

The worst aspect of this garbage and dump friendly legislation is that it is completely unnecessary. Composting is a well known preferred alternative to dumping. If every single piece of food or organic matter were to be rigorously excluded from every dump everywhere by law, the so-called vermin would have nothing to attract them and there would be no bogus rationalization for ADC. In addition, the nutrient and resource values inherent in organic matter would be productively returned to the soil where they belong, not be languishing in dumps uselessly and harmfully.

Paul Palmer, author of [WWW]Getting To Zero Waste.

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