National Geographic : 1974 Sep
"Landfill sites are terrible eyesores. Overly simplistic arguments us ually contain elements of both fact and fancy. They're seldom all right or all wrong. Take sanitary landfill waste dis posal for instance. No reasonable person contends working landfill sites are attrac tive. But properly engineered and managed, the nuisance is minimal and temporary. When completed, a landfill can represent a valuable community asset. The South Coast Botanical Gar den in Los Angeles and the Mile High Stadium complex in Denver are two examples. That's not to say sanitary landfill is the ideal waste disposal method for all time. Right now, it's the most economical and generally most convenient of the acceptable systems. But a lot can be said for the project in metropolitan St. Louis where they incinerate refuse and garbage to produce steam for electric power. And waste recycling must be con sidered. Every year, we throw away 12 million tons of reusable metals, 12 million tons of glass, and 39 billion tons of paper and countless tons of plastics. We need to start putting those things back in circulation as soon as we can find practical ways of doing it. One thing is certain. Any method is better than open dumps. We still have more than 160,000 of these in our country. Until the costs of recycling and incineration are brought down, sanitary landfill will remain the most practical approach to our waste problems. Caterpillar is concerned because we make machines used in san itary landfill. And because waste disposal is an issue vital to the well-being of the nation. There are no simple solutions. Only intelligent choices. W CATERPILLAR Caterpillar.Catand® areTrademarksof CaterpilarTractorCo. "Landfill is the best way to get rid of solid waste'"