Originally Posted by Godot
WHY should raw excrement be such a big problem in landfills? As I understand it, they are built with heavy barriers underneath to keep from contaminating ground water (because, right or wrong, bad things are always going to be thrown in land fills). But, more than that, it seems to me that the half cooked compost recipe will be just as likely to continue cooking in a landfill as out of it, although perhaps slower (but maybe not...don't landfills get very warm, and doesn't the extra heat speed decomposition? Or does getting buried remove too much oxygen?).
It's not a moral or ethical issue Godot. All feces carries pathogens, but human feces carries pathogens of paricular concern to humans. It's dangerous stuff. It's why developed countries put so much effort and resources into treating our sewage waste. It's the main reason our life expectancy in the developed world has shot up -- because we no longer swim in our own poop.
When I grew up I was taught to dump poop out of a disposable diaper before dumping it into the trash. Its been a long time since I've had to change any diapers, but is that no longer done?
You're quite right about the quality of modern landfills. They are designed with impermeable barriers, and are well monitored to try and ensure that toxic waste does not migrate into nearby ground water. That's good, but we all know that these solutions are not perfect (nothing is). It's still far better to divert toxic waste from landfills. Given that we already have well-functioning and easily accessible sewage treatment systems in place, it seems a no-brainer to ask people to use them.