Eco Reps Visit the Brunswick Landfill

Story posted October 07, 2013

This year on a beautiful late August day the College House EcoReps (fondly known as CHEcoReps to Andrew) had the opportunity to visit the Brunswick Landfill down Graham Road. The visit proved to be informational, eye opening, and a little smelly to those involved.

The Brunswick landfill has been in existence for many years, but is now on its final stage – meaning that once the final section of the landfill is filled, the landfill will close. John Foster, Director/Town Engineer for the Public Works Department of Brunswick, led the CHEcoRep tour and mentioned that the final section of the landfill is not filling up as quickly as the prior sections had which he attributes largely to increased recycling efforts. Around the landfill he also explained the purposes of the different sections; a large portion of the landfill is designated to hold leachate (trash runoff water) in deep pools.

The pools use bacteria to facilitate aerobic digestion and breakdown harmful dissolved contaminants to be eventually released into the Androscoggin River. CHEcoReps also had the opportunity to walk up the large trash hill where they got to watch trash become compacted and buried. As EcoReps walked up the hill, it was astonishing to see the number of plastic bags blown everywhere; Mr. Foster explained that plastic bags were the bane to his existence as they fly everywhere and blow into trees and are nearly impossible to remove. He mentioned that his work at the landfill really solidified to him to the importance of using reusable bags.

The EcoRep adventure to the landfill provided an opportunity for Bowdoin College students to see what happens when we don’t recycle our waste, and was an inspiring start to the new year. More information about the Graham Road Landfill can be found on the Town's website.