Landfill Ecology

Having landfills has become an accepted part of modern living. One of the unintended consequences of burying our waste is its effect on local wildlife.  These effects are not necessarily negative ,however, it does put into perspective how even a relatively benign human activity such as burying waste  can have on other species. For instance, scavenger species definitely benefit from our practice of disposing unwanted materials in the ground. Many species of storks have thrived because of the presence of landfills, not to mention rodents and bacteria. Some storks have even forgone the migratory instincts to fly to warmer climates for the winter to enjoy the comfort and security of their local landfill. You can read more about them here.
Nature has adapted to create an interesting new biome. Now that we have created this new biome, what responsibility do we have to it? How long does it take for this new interaction between humans and other species to become sacred in its own right? It also has the effect of changing the topography of the landscape. Larger migratory animals have difficulty navigating around larger human activity  in cities and the added burden of a fenced in landfill on the outer edges these communities add to that stress. This limits the types of species that can still maintain access.Landfills have effectively become their own closed system of ecology. New processes are in place to go back and reclaim resources that were overlooked initially in  a process called landfill mining. While the intentions are noble;to go back and reuse as much material as possible, the new ecosystem we have helped to create is disrupted by the practice.
Certain species have adapted to thrive in the new conditions we have collectively subjected them to. Disrupting their habitat for a second time might prove these animals resiliency is indeed finite.


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