Overflow of landfills has been an issue for the whole world for some time. According to the zerowasteamerica. org the U. S. alone has 3,091 active landfills and over 10,000 old municipal landfills. Municipal landfills and there water and air emissions are very hazardous to our health. A lot of what we toss into our trash bins is contributing to these toxins. Plastics that we toss into the landfills never break down and contribute to these toxins that we breathe in. Disposable diapers do not break down at all. Can you imagine the amount of diapers that are in our trashes?
These issues affect everyone, from our ozone, to the plants and animals and us as well. How can we help correct this problem? What have some countries have already been doing? What type of plan can be set in place to help out? So it is up to us to implement a plan to manage our solid waste. “A solid waste management program may not save the world, but it can help protect the environment and create significant cost savings for owners and tenants. ”(McConnell 2007) Many countries are trying to implement strategies and solutions to help their landfills out on their limited founds.
According to an article written by Padro, J. “Taking A Byte Out of the Landfill” the greater Vancouver regional district has banned electronics from being disposed of in there landfills. Why? 20,000 tons per year are being dumped into the landfills, and many of these electronics contain contaminates such as mercury and lead. In turn they leak into surrounding water and soil. So instead of tossing your old electronics away we might want to think twice about what they do to our environment. Instead we can donate them to our local schools and charities to fix up and use.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital a poor city with all the problems of an undeveloped country is also implementing a plant to help out their landfills as well. “70 percent of Addis Ababa waste is not adequately disposed of. ”(Stavropoulou, 2007) The organization has started out by training some 25 women to go through the local landfills and pick out the plastic trash bags. They chose plastic bags since plastic is the most hazardous and pollutes the longest. They provide them with the proper protective clothing’s so they will be safe from the toxins they come across.
The women that they hired turn the plastic bags and then get paid by the weight. They want to train more women but to not have the funds to do this. We see our government giving money out to other counties for other issues. Why not help out with cleaning up the landfills in these countries as well. But it is good to see other countries having the mind set to clean up the earth. So even the poorer countries are trying to make as much of a difference as they can. They see the importance just like anyone else that this issue is very important and needs to be taken care of. A lack of money is the issue in many of these cases.
In other cases adopting sustainability plan is the key to having a successful recycling plan. Goals and objectives need to be set in place, along with activities that need to be addresses. In this case we need to manage our solid waste in a manner that will promote priority. Making this plan and promoting education I am positive will help out our landfills and reduce unwanted waste. There are a lot of people out there that do not know what they can recycle can what they can’t. There are three different things we can do in our home that we can start off to help out to make the sustainability plan successful.
First, reducing the amount of waste that we produce. This can be done by not buying more then what we need. And if they are things that we no longer need we can either donate them to a local charity or sell them for a profit. Things like clothes and electronics cannot be recycled and just sit in our landfills when they are placed there. We can reduce our food waste as well. We toss a lot of food in the trash daily. Seems we always make more then what we need. Some of these wastes can be utilized and placed in compost. We can then use the compost to plant in or use it for our gardens that we may have.
I touched on the fact of donations of clothes; this also goes along with reusing the things around our house that can be reused. A lot of our products we buy have refills. So instead of buying a new bottle each time, buying the refills and then when the refill bottle is empty recycling is an excellent way of reusing. Also many communities have an online community called free-cycle. This is where you can place items that you no longer need up for grabs that you no longer use that cannot be recycled or that just doesn’t belong in the landfill.
Also you might be able to pick up something that you needed that someone else no longer needed. Also considering buying things that have been recycled before is another way to help our environment. And help promote recycling. Construction workers can take their scraps down to local donation cites for others to reuse them on smaller projects. Recycle would be the last step. If everyone made it their goal to place anything that they can’t reduce or reuse in the recycle bin, there would be a lot less mess in our landfills. Most cities already have recycle bins set up at local jobs, schools, and homes.
It is a matter of utilizing what is there. My plan is based on these general goals that were mentioned, Reduced, Reuse, Recycle. Encouraging the public to take part and utilize their bins in part of the educational plan that will be implemented. The need to increase public awareness of the importance of waste reduction and recycling is the key to success. Developing a program that promotes this through the local waste management with in the cities and towns. Sending out flyers with the waste bills showing if they contribute to this effort that there cost will go down.
Within this flyer will be a developed education program that everyone can come to. They will learn on the cause and effect of not recycling does to our environment. The benefit of this plan is to conserve, protect our environment and our health. “Recycling also reduces the inputs (energy and raw materials) to a production system and reduces the amount of waste produced for disposal”(Wikipedia. org). Some of the challenges that we would have to overcome would be people in general changing their habits. Also, trying to get local government funding for the educational programs as well.
Without government back up I do not see this happening. One of the environmental drawbacks would be the fact that with more collection trucks there would be more vehicles on the road contributing to the Carbon Dioxides expelled into our earth’s environment. It always seems that here is some type of draw back. Maybe in time our local governments will convert their diesel trucks to run on old cooking oil, or energy efficient trucks. If we all take our part and implement this plan within our communities we can start off helping our environment from our home.
To make this plan work we will need our local governments to step up and set aside special funding for a recycling program. We have seen some things take place with recycle bins being set up for our use. But we need to take this one step further. Get more than just our communities involved this will have to go deeper than that. Not only government wise, but our manufactures as well need to step up as well and implements plans and goals themselves. This plan might take some time to implement, but it is well worth it. If nothing is done I can imagine what our earth will look like.
Landfills: Hazardous to the Evironment, www. zerowasteamerica. org McConnell, M. (2007, July). Talking Trash. Journal of Property Management, 72(4), 54-55. Retrieved September 20, 2012, from Business Source Complete database. Padro, J. (2007, July). Taking a byte out of the landfill. Alive: Canadian Journal of Health & Nutrition, Retrieved September 20, 2012, from Alt HealthWatch database. Recycling, www. Wikipedia. org Stavropoulou, J. (2007, May). Reuse Recycle, Revitalise. Ecologist, 37(5), 45-47. Retrieved September 20, 2012, from Academic Search Premier database