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The Municipal Solid Waste Dilemma

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Everyone buys things and sooner or later, we will throw it away. Or suppose we eat at Mc Donald's. After we are finished, we throw away our trash and never see or think of it ever again. In our fast passed world that we live in today, there are many people living in it and produce a lot of garbage and waste. The United States alone produces over 200 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste every year. That is equates to about 4.5 pounds of waste per person, per day. According to data from the EPA, about 35% of that is paper, 30% include yard trimmings and food scraps. Over 11% is plastic, 8% is metal, and the remainder contains wood, rubber, glass, and textiles. The main problem that we have is overflow of landfills. On top of this problem, there is a factor of contamination and pollution that carries on with garbage disposal. Because of this dilemma, we need solutions to these problems. Some solutions include recycling, source reduction, and other methods of waste disposal. In this proposal, I will talk briefly about waste management and how landfills are made and developed. I will further discuss governmental regulations that are taking place to make disposal safe and friendly to the environment.

About 27 percent of the trash is recycled, 16 percent is burned, and 57 percent is buried in landfills. A landfill by definition is a carefully designed structure built into or on top of the ground in which trash is isolated from the surrounding environment. This isolation is made possible with a bottom liner and covering of soil. Most landfills use a synthetic plastic liner to isolate the trash from the environment. In a landfill, not all of the land is used for dumping trash. Some areas are used for runoff collecti...

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...ed. That means there are still recyclable materials that are being buried or burned at dump sites. This causes the possibly recyclable material to be dumped in landfills. The current practice of burying waste is not a good solution for today's needs and for the future. As the amount of municipal solid waste grows year by year, our way of life is going to determine the life style of the future.

Implementation by the government or extra funding for recycling by the government can be a solution to the overflow of trash and garbage in municipal solid waste landfills. The solution is not found in making landfills larger and not necessarily forming innovative procedures to handling waste. Further incentives for recycling or source reduction can lower solid wastes that end up in landfills, which in turn will make the world and environment a better place to live.