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An Offer They Can't "Refuse"

By: Ray Hawthorne
By: Ray Hawthorne

Broken fluorescent glass, old tires and mulch seem like useless items. They're in fact biofilters, and soon the material will be spread and should be instrumental in freshening up the Apalachee Regional Solid Waste Facility.

Nancy Paul, Leon County Solid Waste Superintendent, says, "The engineers at one of our partners, the FSU-FAMU School of Engineering, are going to demonstrate that this will abate odors that are generated at landfills."

Officials say the odor-reducing biofilters will be installed in the next two to three months, and much like fine wine, they'll improve with age.

Norm Thomas, Director of Leon Co Solid Waste Management, says, "The benefit grows as the biofilter ages, and so we'll get maximum benefit maybe six months or nine months from now."

A decay of organic material in waste releases methane and carbon dioxide that can create a big stink. Some scientists believe that those gases are also harmful to the environment. Officials say the glass-tire-mulch biofilter combo may prove beneficial to mother earth.

Nancy Paul says, "It's beneficial to us because we're using recycled material and we're doing something important for the environment. It works both ways. It's a win-win."

And it's just another way that "junk science" is helping to improve the quality of our air and our planet.

The grant making this research possible is the top of 10 projects that the Department of Environmental Protection awards each year.


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