Garbage Problems and Landfill Shortages

Issues Facing the Modern World

There are a variety of issues facing the modern world, including garbage problems, environmental pollution, and landfill shortages. In addition to the environmental issues, there are also costs associated with recycling programs and the costs of burying garbage. Luckily, there are some simple solutions. These include government regulation. The most obvious one is to reduce garbage and landfill space.

Landfill Shortages

There are many problems associated with landfills. Not only do they cause air pollution and other health problems, but they are also a major contributor to climate change. One of the biggest problems associated with landfills is the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Methane can trap more heat than carbon dioxide, and it contributes to climate change. Other problems associated with landfills include the contamination of water and groundwater.

Landfill capacity estimates depend on many assumptions, such as waste composition and diversion practices. The Solid Waste Association of North America says that concerns about landfill space have been overstated. In fact, the amount of waste that is going to landfills today is more tightly packed than it was in the past, which is extending the life of the landfill. In addition, some landfills add liquids to speed up the decomposition process and extend its lifespan.

The environmental problems associated with landfills have led to many companies closing down their facilities. In many places, local dumps have been replaced by regional mega landfills, many of which are hundreds of miles away. These longer trips result in higher greenhouse gas emissions. A ton of garbage traveling 500 miles by train emits about 115 pounds of carbon dioxide. Trucking also creates higher levels of air pollution.

In North America, landfills are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and some regions are already experiencing a shortage. As cities become more populated, the available landfill capacity is diminishing, causing a garbage crisis. Some regions are even exporting garbage to other parts of the country. For example, New York City has sent its garbage to landfills in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Costs of Recycling Programs

Recycling programs are an important part of garbage-reduction policies, but they can be expensive. In cities like New York City, for example, recycling costs $200 more per ton than landfill costs, and programs also spend considerable resources on public relations campaigns that help residents understand what items they can recycle. They also provide residents with different kinds of recycling containers.

However, the costs associated with recycling programs are worthwhile when compared to the benefits they create. Recycling programs create jobs and generate important revenue for the economy. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, recycling generated $37 billion in taxes and wages in 2012. Another study cited by the international environmental alliance GAIA found that recycling creates 70 times more jobs than incineration and landfilling combined. This is a great benefit to society and the environment.

In addition to recycling, there is an increased need for proper equipment and services. These programs must provide adequate public education and efficient technology for sorting and processing. The cost-effectiveness of such a program depends on how well it is run. Most recycling programs are not worth the cost if they don't provide an effective solution for garbage problems.

Recycling programs save money by reducing the demand for raw materials and virgin resources. Recycling programs also save energy by allowing landfills to remain open longer. This saves money and helps reduce global warming.

Environmental Impact of Burying Garbage

Burying garbage is bad for the environment for several reasons. The most obvious is that it creates bad smells, which can be transferred to nearby areas. It can also reduce property values. Many property sellers are required to disclose the use of their property, and hiding it from potential buyers can lead to legal problems. Furthermore, if you sell your property and find that the previous owner buried garbage, you may be forced to lower the offering price or include a contingency to cover the cleanup costs.

Burying garbage has also become increasingly difficult with improved incinerator technology. Burying garbage contributes to air pollution and water pollution, and the transportation of garbage to landfill sites consumes fossil fuels. Furthermore, plastic trash bags take thousands of years to break down, and they release toxins during the process. Instead, consider using biodegradable trash bags. These come in various sizes and decompose in the landfills along with their contents.

Landfill sites also contribute to climate change because they release methane gas and carbon dioxide into the air. Both of these gases contribute to the rise of global temperatures. These emissions will account for 10% of greenhouse gases by 2025.

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