The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Back to the Landfill: Post Yard Sale Impact

Lanchester Landfill site (tallest hill in distance to right) beyond
Honey Brook, PA's western edge of town
Our yard sale was terrific for lighting a fire under me to get rid of old stuff stored in odd places. While in the attic retrieving things from a previous yard sale carefully stored there, I rediscovered the corpses of computers past.

It was time to take another trip to our landfill, about 25 minutes from home. It is quite the place. It is a 600 acre property, 160 acres dedicated to the landfill itself. Looking at their fact sheet, it serves 400,000 residents of a single county, and their businesses. The 25 full time staff take in 1,000 tons per day of "non-hazardous municipal refuse and residuals." This represents 90% of the county's waste. I wonder if this includes the recyclables?

There is compost on site and a nature trail on the property. That was not what I expected. It certainly is not the town dump as represented in so many novels of years gone by. In fact, in 2015, this landfill won the Corporate Lands for Learning Rookie of the Year Award. Okay, I might as well use the name: this is the Lanchester Landfill outside Honey Brook, Pennsylvania. This is also a far cry from the rural dump site my grandparents used,  a steep hollow found by a bend in the road called colorfully "The Devil's Elbow." The tipping fees collected help benefit the communities around the landfill as well. Who knew?

Where staff tells you where to go and materials brought
for dumping can be weighed.

You can see the site from a distance, a good-sized hill rising above the landscape. How much of that is a natural feature and how much of it is years and years of waste accumulated, I cannot say. All I can say is the staff at the weigh station are unfailingly polite and ready to direct you toward the path you need to take to get your business done. I was pleased to see that the old TV previously dropped off was nowhere in sight.

Be glad all your trash goes off to such an anonymous site. As a former archaeologist, I can tell you, professionals can learn a great deal about you from your trash! 

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