How To Reduce Trash In Landfills – Earth Day

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Earth Day

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The world will be celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd. During this day, several environmental activists and eco proponents will exhibit their support for environmental protection. Some of the most common issues might involve problematic trends that contribute to the earth’s sorry state. One of them is the amount of solid waste that is dumped in landfills.

A landfill is structure that is built on top of or into the ground. The main purpose of this structure is to prevent waste from contaminating the area around it and its groundwater.

Unfortunately, while a landfill might prevent a city’s groundwater from contamination, it doesn’t make the waste go away. This is because landfills are not meant to break trash down; they are only used to bury it.

What are the consequences? Landfills contain little oxygen or moisture which are necessary for waste to decompose. As a result, any trash that is dumped in them is left to rot in the sun. The environmental repercussions speak for themselves. According to the EESI, landfills are the third largest source of anthropogenic methane which is the second most damaging greenhouse gas.

You can’t close a landfill but you can reduce the amount of trash that turns up in it. In honor of Earth Day, let’s reduce the trash that ends up in our landfills this year. Here is how you can start –

1. Reduce E-Waste

electronic waste in check

E-waste doesn’t only end up in a landfill in your city. It might also end up in a landfill across the world. You can blame global e-waste dumping for that. The US has a nasty habit of dumping most of its waste in developing countries like India and Ghana. As a result, tons of discarded computers, electronics, televisions and other forms of e-waste are often dismantled in unregulated trash heaps. The emissions from these heaps are harmful to the environment and human health.

What Can You Do?

Mobile waste

These practices are neither right nor safe. What can you do to reduce them? Keep your electronic waste in check. Reevaluate what you spend on. Do you really need to buy a new cellphone or television when your old models work fine?

A discarded Smartphone will only join millions of other cellphones in a landfill somewhere and leach harmful amounts of lead.

2. Say Goodbye To Plastic

plastic bottles and bags

Landfills are not only filled with electronic waste; quite a lot of plastic ends up in them too. Most of this plastic comes from un-recycled plastic bottles and bags. The environmental effects of disposed plastic are nothing to scoff at. According to research, it will take a plastic bag or bottle a thousand years to decompose in a landfill. Until then, it is left to rot and leach toxins into the soil.

What Can You Do?

plastic bag or bottle
Image: Hamilton

You can reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills. How? If you have any old plastic containers around, reuse them instead of throwing them away. Boycott plastic bottles and use reusable glass bottles instead. By reducing your reliance on plastic, you reduce how much of it ends up in landfills.

3. Just Buy Less…Really

bottles of oil
Image: Hendrickson

We live in an age of consumerism; an age that tempts us to buy more than we actually need. It compels you to buy the latest gadgets and ask the bagger for extra plastic bags to store them. And the environment suffers for it. How? The more you buy, the more you waste. These items will outlive their usefulness. Once they do, they will end up in your trash, and from there in landfills.

Earth Day

You will be doing Mother Nature a huge favor if you just cut back on your spending. How? Only buy items that you need. In this way, you can cut down the amount of trash that ends up in landfills.

An old cellphone in a landfill is one too many. So are plastic bags and other discarded items that cannot be recycled. Make a resolution to be less wasteful this Earth Day by reducing the amount of electronic waste and plastic you throw away.

About The Author

Kelly Sampson is a writer, blogger, and environmental enthusiast. She has strong opinions about climate change, the dogs vs. cats debate, and Oxford commas. She has lent Hummingbird International her engaging and spirited voice and turned our blog into a great place to find valuable information about e-waste, e-waste recycling, and the ITAD industry. Explore our blog to read more of her work.

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