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Rio Closes Its Massive Jardim Gramacho Dump

By Fredrica Syren

After 34 years, Rio de Janeiro finally plans to close the world’s largest open air landfill, its own Jardim Gramacho dump. Environmentalists have long blamed Gramacho — a 5-mile high, 130-hectare site — for the high levels of pollution that now spoil Rio’s Guanabara Bay.

Since opening in 1978, the seaside landfill has caused a lot of environmental damage. There was no lining on the massive landfill’s floor to prevent toxic leaks, and it was unmonitored.  This negligence allowed noxious fluids produced by rotting organic materials to stream directly into the bay, which has become unsafe for swimming.

The closing of Gramacho has been in the works for years but has been stopped many times. Now, it is slated to take place just weeks before the United Nations’ Rio+20 megaconference on sustainable development, and in time for Rio to host the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament and the Olympics in 2016.

The plans are to transform the dump into a huge facility that will curb production ofgreenhouse gasses, and harness the methane generated by the sludge for fuel capable of heating homes and powering cars.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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