A recent study was conducted by the University of Washington which concludes that the average American produces up to 7 pounds of garbage a day. If you do the math, it means each of us churns out 2,555 pounds of garbage every year. Multiply that by 300,000,000 million Americans and that’s a lot of garbage. Unfortunately for us, most of this garbage is going to end up in one of the thousands of landfills that are stretched across the county. Why do landfills hurt the environment and our way of life? Let’s count the ways:
Bad for the Air We Breathe
As the garbage in landfills begins to break down and degrade, it releases various gases into the atmosphere. Typically, these are chemical compounds that rise into the atmosphere and hitch a ride on the jet stream. These emissions then become “seeds” for rain clouds and end up clogging the atmosphere. This means that just because you don’t live anywhere near a landfill doesn’t mean you can’t be exposed to the harmful effects.
In addition, when these chemical emissions are collected in the upper atmosphere they can contribute to the deterioration of the ozone layer. As we all know, this is one of the main concerns of global climate change. When the ozone is depleted, we lose our protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays which increases the ocean's temperature. This has a cascading effect that is felt in severe storms and rising sea levels. Once garbage is dumped in a landfill, it’s there for a long, long time.
Bad for the Water We Drink
Not all the problems of a landfill can be found in the air we breathe. As that garbage decomposes, there are just as many harmful chemical compounds that seep into the soil and find their way into water ways. These underground water ways feed into larger aqua tributaries which in turn become our sources for water.
Yes, landfills are supposed to be in safe areas but think about rotting fruit. If you leave a piece of fruit out on your lawn, it will break down and disintegrate. Now instead of fruit think of discarded computer monitors, batteries, oils, and paints… the list of harmful elements in a landfill is truly endless.
Bad for Our Quality of Life
For the unlucky folks who happen to live near a landfill, there are a whole host of unwanted “guests” who show up to feast on the garbage. This means bugs, birds, rats, possums and all many of creepy crawlers who would make their home in the landfill. And don’t think they’re going to stay there for long. As their unfettered population grows, these critters will leech out into the surrounding areas leading to a virtual overrun of vermin.
When you add in other dangers like burning fires and floating debris, you can clearly see why landfills hurt the environment and are bad all around. Junk-King is trying to slow the growth of our country's landfills by recycling up to 60% of the waste that we salvage. If you're thinking about getting rid of the unwanted clutter in your home or business and aren't sure if it will end up in landfill, feel free to contact Junk-King for a free onsite junk removal estimate.