Less for the landfill, better for the environment

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Okay, here’s a figure for you…California apparently produces 93 million tons of solid waste per year.  When put into landfills, it fills up space and starts emitting methane gas, which is a very potent greenhouse gas and is obviously not good for the environment.  So if California keeps producing that much waste, where is it all going to go?  We don’t have that many landfills and I’m pretty sure nobody wants to create more.

Well, to help curb the landfill waste, California Integrated Waste Management Board recently announced it reached a 58% waste diversion rate – apparently 54 million tons of trash was diverted from landfills for either reuse or recycling.

Terradaily.com put it in perspective best when they stated:

“Fifty-four million tons of diverted waste is equivalent to filling more than 100 football fields to a height equal to the Empire State Building.”

Here’s some additional figures for you: keeping 54 million tons of trash out of California landfills and finding better uses for it through reuse or recycling has apparently:

  1. saved enough energy to provide power for 1.4 million homes,
  2. reduced water pollution by over 27,000 tons,
  3. saved 14 million trees, and
  4. helped to reduce air pollution by over 165,000 tons.

Now here’s my question…if recycling or reusing part of California’s landfill waste does all these things, what is being done to lower the environmental effects from the remaining landfill waste?  And is there a better solution than just continuing to pile up waste in landfills? 

Until there is, each person should learn how to dispose of their trash properly and recycle anything they can.  Each step we take helps to improve and protect the environment.

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