>>the guest was a "Garbologist" from   Tucson. He has been studying decomposition rates on landfills   since the mid-70s and has been doing stratum mapping in landfills and sharing cultural information gathered from these various digs.<<

If I'm not mistaken this particular professor teaches archeology (and has appeared on numerous TV shows over the years). And what better place to do it than a landfill. Clear stratas that can be easily dated and an ability to put book-larnin into practice. They have also discovered hot dogs that have not decomposed even after decades in the landfill.

The reason for lack of decay is that it is an anaerobic environment. The layers are sealed to prevent movement of any liquids in the fill and the production of methane gas. Most decaying material requires that bacteria of an aerobic variety be present. If this occurs methane gas is the end result. A lot of older landfills do produce methane gas, some cities/counties have gone back and tapped the gas deposits to power certain equipment.

didn't anyone else take science in high school? ;-)

Ginny Jones asked "why do people root through garbage dumps?" (or something close to that)

well you would be surprised at what one finds in a dump that is worth money. In Dallas years ago there was a tipple near downtown that was in use during the late 19th century. In the late 20th century it became a hunting ground for folks with metal detectors as well as bottle hunters. Some of the bottles that were uncovered were/are very valuable. In Cairo Egypt the poorest Cairenes are able to eke out a living by picking through the garbage and recovering material that can be sold or reused.

oh well back to developing functional requirements for a software system

Peter A. Kurilecz CRM, CA
Richmond, Va
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