So where does trash go when it is magically picked up off of our curbs and whisked off to never been seen or smelled again. The truth is that, depending on where we live, waste is buried, burned, or shipped off to a third world country – depending on the type of waste it is.
Generally, landfills, also referred to as a dump or tip, have been the traditional way of waste removal. Call it what you want, landfills around the world, including low income neighborhoods world wide are reaching full capacity. [more]
Initially these site were not designed to fill up at the rates that they have been, opening up new opportunities! Landfills, reaching capacity are being developed for re-use for parks, gold courses and even creating neighborhoods in major cities like San Francisco's Treasure Island.
Since these heaps of garbage are not decomposing, but rather staying intact, they are designed to keep all the toxins that could potentially leak out into the community, under wraps. There is still the risk of seeping leachate, despite leachate management that captures and treats it. Leachate is a liquid that is formed inside landfills, containing dissolved organic and suspended matter, considered to be extremely toxic.
Photo by: swanbank4306
Landfills also create carbon dioxide and methane – two types of gases known for their destructive properties on our eco-systems, the atmosphere, and our health.
So, this leaves us an open opportunity to think twice about everything we purchase. Try to recycle and compost as much as you can. Tread lightly!
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- - Reduce how much you consume, reduce your trash
- - Reuse items whenever possible
- - Recycle everything
- - Eliminate junk mail
- - Compost green waste
- - Throw away your trash properly – sorting accordingly
- - Set up recycling programs
- - Don’t litter. Keep trash out of drains.
- - Pick up trash at the beach, park, or school and on the sidewalk, street, or hiking trails
- - Don’t pour oil into the gutter
- - Cut all 6-pack soda rings (animals may get trapped in them – birds, fish)
- - Eat less fast food – reduce trash
- - Buy things with less packaging
- - Use nylon/cloth bag when shopping
- - Use glass instead of plastic (think when you are buying your next peanut butter)
Contributed by Nancy Astrid Lindo of Astrid Design Studio