Landfill has become a major problem, not just here in the UK, but all around the world. In industrialised nations especially, it is calculated that with suitable space becoming more and more at a premium, the time is rapidly approaching when landfill becomes, quite simply, no longer an option. Even in emerging countries the advance in more enlightened environmentally responsible policies has seen a vast reduction in the practice of simply burying waste. There has to be an alternative.
The problem of course is not just space. A frightening catalogue of environmental problems caused by landfill includes methane gas produced by rotting organic matter. This is a gas, incidentally, that is 20-times worse than carbon dioxide in trapping in heat from the sun and as such it is a critical contributor to environmental change and global warming. Methane also presents a serious fire risk, while the burying of household and industrial chemicals may produce a cocktail of toxic gases that can considerably impact the quality of air and the welfare of wildlife in the area.