We cannot escape the fact the trash is something that is an everyday issue for all of Humankind. We make it and we do what we do when it comes to disposing of it. Different places around the world have come up with different ways to manage it, to keep everything on track, but the procedures all amount to roughly the same thing. We expel the trash from the track of our immediate lives and move it away from us. But, is that all that needs to be done?
Everyone knows where trash begins, but not many of us are aware of where it ends and how it all ends up. What track does it take from our street corners to the waste management places where it goes back to the Earth?
The first step, as you can imagine, is the collection process. The trucks with compactors built into them come by for garbage pick up at your residence on collection day and take it away. They compact into as tiny a bit of mass as they can make it be and haul it away. From there, it goes to a transfer station or a landfill straightaway.
A transfer station is not the final resting place of the trash but, rather, a stopping off point for many different municipalities or countries. From the transfer station, the trash is delivered to a landfill. The principal behind modern sanitary landfills is to bury trash in the most contained way possible.
Modern landfills are typically lined so that material cannot escape the landfill itself. They accept trash in one section at a time until that section is filled. Then, they use the next portion of the landfill to accept the next round of trash. This keeps everything right on track when it comes to processing garbage and also recyclables.
Waste management, as it is called, is really so much more than waste management. It is actually made up of around 20 different industries, all of which contribute to the collection and distribution and final disposal of trash.
We are all part of the problem of trash and there is no way of getting around that. Each person is responsible for creating around four pounds of trash every single day. It is a product of our lives. It is not about how we can do away with the problem of trash altogether. Rather, it is a question of how responsible we are with the trash we make. Are we disposing of it in the most proper way?
For example, it costs over $11 million every year to clean up litter, and if you’ve ever been on any highway in America, you already know that is a job that will never fully be done.
What if we were able to do better than that? What if we were able to be more responsible with our personal trash and could divert that money to better ways of handling trash in the first place? If we could separate recycling and regular trash, that would be a huge start on making a difference with the amount of trash this planet is trying to take back.
Trash collection begins in our own homes. It begins with how we use certain items and how we dispose of those items. We can pay more attention to the kinds of things we throw away and ask ourselves if the Earth will be able to absorb them.
We can keep our communities clean and safe by organizing public waste units. There is always something more we can do.