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The landfill problem is a huge issue in the modern world today. Small-scale societies in far-flung corners of the planet have less garbage than we modern peoples who live in cities or in the country. The landfill problem is becoming bigger by the day. The old landfill in my hometown of Mountain View, CA, which got turned into a rather smelly park. The park is a great idea-sure, but then again where does the rest of the garbage go? The landfill problem is something that affects every single city on the planet, but the thing is, we don’t have concrete solutions for it.
According to Zero Waste America, we have 3,091 active landfills, and over 10,000 old municipal landfills. We need to do something about this problem before we dig our own graves for the entire human race. There are many landfills all over this planet that we aren’t doing enough to clean up. One trip out to eat fast food can mean we have to throw away implements made of plastic. Landfills are a huge problem because we leave what is in there to rot. The question is what do we do about the landfills?
Products are not designed with biodegradable elements. Currently, it is very wasteful to buy and throw out something in a plastic packaging. The Marshallbrain website states that fast food eateries throw out a lot of garbage every day with the landfill in mind for the end goal as to where their garbage is going. Recycling all materials used in packaging is a huge global effort. What do we do when we are done with products? We throw it away, and it goes into the landfill. Garbage is the single biggest problem we face.
Landfills are a hard nut to crack. They cause emissions to arise from the bad smell of plastic that cannot biodegrade. Methane gas counts for 9% of greenhouse gas emissions around the country. Landfills are but one source of methane emissions. The question remains as to how to clean up the trash in a landfill. One idea would be to use nanotechnology by creating a type of nanite that would dissolve plastic. Or maybe an earth-friendly chemical solution that would make sure the plastic biodegrades. Turning plastic into diesel, kerosene and oil does take care of much of the problem but the elite would rather the common people live in dirty surroundings so we go to work, thinking of nothing but making money.
Consumers in the United States have limited choices with their buying habits in mind of earth-friendly packaging. Pamela Hill writes that: “once at a landfill, solid waste is often incinerated,” (152). This is all well and good but that waste needs to be treated better than it is while striving to recycle materials that can be recycled. The reason why nobody’s tacked the garbage problem is that it is too huge for any one person to deal with. This is why it takes a bunch of non-profit think tanks to get anything done at all.
Jobs need to be created for people who think about as well as deal with plastic pollution wherever we humans may find it. Jobs can be made for people who need to fix these problems. Many do not know where to start even if they are in the field of environmentalism. We need everybody to start thinking as well as contributing to resolving this problem. As a species, we get nowhere with not confronting our sustainability problems. This is a fact of life for us. We simply need to start thinking about our environment more.
Hill, Pamela. Environmental Protection: What Everybody Needs to Know. Oxford University Press. 2017.