Tag Archive | "landfills"

Landfill in the UK and the Alternatives

Landfill in the UK and the Alternatives

This was written on behalf of Batesy Skips.

What is Landfill?

Landfill sites are where rubbish ends up if it cannot be recycled, or hasn’t been properly sorted. The waste is compacted to maximise the amount that can fit in and then buried. It is generally considered to be the least eco-friendly way to dispose of waste and can have harmful effects on the surrounding area, including being responsible for the release of methane and contaminating groundwater.

In recent years the UK has been one of the worst European nations for landfill sites, in 2004/5 it sent over 20 million tonnes of rubbish to landfill, earning it a reputation as being the ‘dustbin of Europe.’ Lately, the UK has taken steps to amend this and was recently placed in the top 10 EU countries for efficient waste management.

Landfill isn’t not all bad though. 3,000 tonnes of rubbish is dumped daily at a landfill in Essex, yet this has attracted wildlife including seagulls, foxes and badgers. As a result, the site will be closed and reopen as an RSPB Nature reserve.

Landfill mining is also a growing industry. This involves digging up landfill to uncover waste that can be recycled or converted into renewable energy.

What are the alternatives?

Unfortunately Fly-tipping is still common, this is simply dumping waste at the side of the road or in a deserted area. It is dangerous, an eyesore and costs the taxpayer a lot to clear up. Incineration is also an option, but although it greatly reduces the volume of waste going to landfill and sometimes can be used to generate electricity, it is widely criticised for the substantial pollution it causes.

The cutting-edge technology in waste disposal is the use of Plasma which turns waste into a glass-like substance that can be used for building. It produces much less pollution than incineration, yet is expensive to get going.

Luckily there are several eco-friendly alternatives to landfill that are gaining ground. Composting is now practised on an industrial scale and is often praised as being a cost-effective way of converting organic material which would decompose into useful products.

The best alternative to landfill however, is to reduce the amount of waste that must be dumped by encouraging recycling as much as possible. This is possible both in industry and the home, many skip hire and waste disposal firms now have custom built recycling stations, while councils enable recycling for their residents through dedicated facilities, promotional campaigns and hefty fines for offenders.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

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How Many Pounds of Trash Does the Average Person Make Per Day?

How Many Pounds of Trash Does the Average Person Make Per Day?

In America’s short two and a half century existence it has climbed to the number two spot in producing the most garbage per person. Americans currently produce 4.43 pounds of garbage per person, per day. In 2010, this equated to 250 million tons of trash being produced in America alone. Of all of this garbage, only 34.1 percent of it was actually recycled. Thirty-four percent may not seem like that bad of a number, especially considering the fact that in 1960 only 6.4 percent of garbage produced in America was recycled, but the amount of garbage produced has increased at a large amount.

The amount of trash produced by Americans has increased by around 160 million tons, but the amount of trash recycled has only increased by about 80 million tons, leaving the rest of the garbage lying around on the Earth. Most of the recycled garbage consists of paper and cardboard, but many other things are recyclable as well, including glass, wood, metal, plastic, rubber and yard waste. With nearly every item in people’s lives having the ability to be recycled, it should be possible for the amount of recycled garbage to keep pace with the amount of garbage produced in the nation.

The computer recycling professionals at ROUND2 INC., an Avnet Company, brought you this infographic.

How Many Pounds of Trash Does the Average Person Make Per Day?

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UK's Landfill Crisis Infographic

The UK’s Landfill Crisis

If you do not currently take environmental factors into consideration at work or at home, now is the time to start doing so. With UK landfills bursting at the seams, we all need to be doing our bit to keep as much waste as possible from ending up in landfill and there are so many ways you can help.

At home, keep two separate bins and clearly label waste and recycling. Familiarise yourself with what can and cannot be recycled and make sure all the household are aware of this too.

At work, try and reduce the amount of paper used and send emails out instead wherever possible. Make sure your team are all recycling as much as possible and when new office supplies are ordered, ensure they can be recycled later on when they are no longer in use.

If we all play our part and take action today, we can have a truly positive effect on the environment for tomorrow’s world.

Sophie works alongside ecotileflooring.com and has a strong passion for the environment, working hard to ensure at both home and work she does all she can to avoid sending unnecessary waste to landfill.

UK's Landfill Crisis Infographic

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