Tag Archive | "trash"

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.

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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.

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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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Recycling Rates on the Rise in the U.S.

Recycling Rates on the Rise in the U.S.

Since 1960, the amount of trash generated annually in the U.S. has nearly tripled. EPA data shows that in 2010, Americans created about 250 tons of trash. They produced just 88 tons 50 years earlier. Part of this increase is due to a growth in population. However, the average amount of trash that each American creates has not kept pace with the expansion of the heap at large.

In 1960, each American’s share of the year’s trash total was 2.68 pounds. In 2010, that amount had risen to 4.43 pounds per person. This is not even double the numbers 50 years earlier. This could be due to the recycling, reuse and repurposing habits that are far more commonplace in the 21st century. Due to high-profile recycling campaigns, Americans today are far more environmentally conscious than their 1960 counterparts.

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In 1960, the U.S. recycled only 5.4 percent of the garbage it created; in 2010, the nation recycled fully 34.1 percent. In terms of tonnage, the 85.1 tons of trash recycled in 2010 is more than 15 times the 5.6 tons recycled in the earlier era.

With a continued national effort to recycle as much trash as possible, Americans can keep more garbage out of already overtaxed landfills. As technology finds new and more cost effective ways to recycle all sorts of trash, the U.S. can lead the world toward a significant reduction in resource consumption.

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

Recycling Rates on the Rise in the U.S.

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – How Long Does Trash Last?

Students learn how long trash lasts in landfills in this cooperative activity.

Objectives: Students will learn about environmental consequence of not recycling. They will work together in groups to formulate their best estimate of how long some trash items might last in a landfill.

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Materials Needed: aluminum cans, banana, cigarette butt, cotton rag, glass bottle, leather boot, paper bag, plastic 6-pack rings, plastic jug, rubber sole of the leather boot, Styrofoam cup, tin soup can, wool sock
Activity:

1. Display the materials you have collected. Provide a chart and point out that all the items will likely end up in a landfill. Ask them questions. What will happen to them when they end up in the landfill? How long do you think they will last there? Do they disappear/disintegrate/degrade immediately” Or will they take up space in the landfill?

2. Let the students discuss these questions if they are old enough. At the end, inform them of the correct sequence; banana, paper bag, cotton rag, wool sock, cigarette butt, leather boot, rubber sole of the boot, tin soup can, aluminum can, plastic 6-pack rings, plastic jug, Styrofoam cup, glass bottle.

3. Now that they know the correct order, ask them how long they think they will last. After discussion, give the scientists' approximations; banana (3 to 4 weeks), paper bag (1 month), cotton rag (5 months), wool sock (1 year), cigarette butt (2 to 5 years), leather boot (40 to 50 years), rubber sole of the boot (50 to 80 years), tin soup can (80 to 100 years), aluminum can (200 to 500 years), plastic 6-pack rings (450 years), plastic jug (1 million years), Styrofoam cup (unknown? forever?), glass bottle (unknown? forever?).

Source: Education World

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