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Friday, August 10, 2012

Superfood Sisters Are Talking Trash

Do you ever think about the fate of your trash as the garbage truck drives by for the once a week pickup? How easy is it to throw trash into a plastic bag, tie it up and put it out by the road once a week and then wait for the big garbage munching machine to come pick up? Garbage gone. Problem solved.  Do you ever really think about what happens after the truck drives away? Do you even want to?

Landfills are where the majority of our trash goes.  From a distance, landfills just look like a huge hill.  But in the center of that big hill, landfills begin as a big hole that our trash is dumped into and then covered with about 6 inches of dirt.  Then trucks and compactors drive over the dirt to pack it down as firmly as they can.  This helps to keep the trash in place and to prepare the area for more trash the next day. This process keeps going on and on until the landfill is full, then it gets covered with several layers of soil and landscaped. Some landfills are even turned into parks (the water and soil in the area has to be closely monitored for up to 30 years after the closing of the site to make sure that no toxins enter the environment). You may think that the trash will quickly decompose is this large hole, but in reality the trash that is put into a landfill will stay there for a very long time. Inside a landfill, there is little oxygen and little moisture. Under these conditions, trash does not break down very rapidly. In fact, when old landfills have been excavated or sampled, 40-year-old newspapers have been found with easily readable print. Landfills are not designed to break down trash, merely to bury it. When a landfill closes, the site (especially the groundwater) must be monitored and maintained for up to 30 years!

Now that you have gotten a crash course on your local land fill, don’t you wish there was something you could do to help the rising amount of trash that fills these stinky hills?  There is!  It’s simply to RECYCLE!  I know, it can be a pain in your backside and you may think it takes too much time?  Not really.  We have a back room with four different containers for various types of recyclables such as cans (aluminum), glass, paper and plastic.  We then use our “trash can” only for the stuff that we cannot recycle.

Back to the containers, they are labeled plastic, glass, aluminum and paper (the containers do not have to be big, just big enough to fit what you use). Once a week, we have a local volunteer group who holds a recycling drive.  I load up my van, drive over, wait my turn and empty my recyclables.  It doesn’t take long, they are open until sun-down and I know that I am doing my part to help our environment.  To find a recycling center near you check out Earth911!

Many areas offer recycling as part of your trash pick-up.  They will even provide a recycling container and all of your recyclables can go in one container and they sort it for you. Many times the pick-ups are bi-weekly.  Also, pay attention to community recycling areas off the side of the road, especially for glass and paper.
Here are just a few of the benefits of recycling:
  1.   Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees.
  2.  Recycling creates four jobs for every one job created in the waste management and disposal industries.
  3. Well-run recycling programs cost less to operate than waste collection, landfilling, and incineration.
For more information on benefits of recycling visit A Recycling Revolution.
Another great way to recycle if you have a garden is to start a compost pile.  There is nothing better for your garden than your lawn and kitchen wastes!  

 Here are examples to get you started!
Vegetable Scraps
Meat or animal products
Egg SHELLS (not actual egg)
Coal ash
Yard Waste (lawn clippings, leaves)
Weeds or weed seeds
Colored paper
Coffee grounds and filters
Synthetic chemicals

Visit Planet Natural website for more information on getting your compost pile started. 

Please share how you and your family are recycling in your home! 

For more information on sustainable living, check out www.getthehealthyedge.com/thehealthyedge.com for some great tips, conversations and even recipes!

1 comment:

  1. It kills me on the inside knowing that this goes on around the world 24/7, but theres not a thing that we can do until we decide to mass clean up the Earth one day.

    -Land Source Container Service, Inc.
    Rubbish Removal NYC


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