It's a precise question. The only thing vague here is the answer.
It's a game, it's meant to have fun with it. Doing the conventional thing is boring.
When a noob handle the tailings wrong and we have a situation, I'm thrilled. It's something exciting happening.
But I never have much to tell them other than "If you put them in a stockpile underground in stone it works" and "Well whatever, pollution don't do anything right now anyways".
If I knew how it works exactly I could work on creative solutions with them and save the day. You know, the good stuff.