A Growing Issue

A Growing Issue

Right now, landfills are a huge problem, and they're not getting smaller. The average American throws out 4.4 lbs. of waste per day. Every year, we generate 250,000,000 tons of waste! Landfills also can cause health problems to those near them.
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Organic Materials

Unfortunately, many of the waste in landfills is organic materials. 28% of the waste was paper and cardboard, and another 28% was from food waste and yard trimmings. What is most disappointing about this is that paper can be recycled, and some food can be composted. We understand that everybody can't be perfect, but we would encourage you to try to limit what you throw away.

Work to be Done

The U.S. has been throwing away large amounts for many years. In the year 1980, we threw away 36,400,400 tons of paper and cardboard alone. That same year, we threw away a combined amount of 20,200,000 tons of glass and metals. We have been working to decrease that amount. We have made progress... but not by much. In 2009, we threw away 70,600,000 tons of garbage, compared to 71,800,000 in 1980.

Negative Health Effects

Landfills, not surprisingly, have negative health effects associated with their presence. Harmful gases emitted from landfills include hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. The following negative health effects have been shown to relate to landfills directly:

  • Coughing
  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Breathing difficulties

Studies on areas that are close in proximity to landfills have proven that these symptoms stop when the exposure to the landfills is taken away.

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There is a Solution

It is unfortunate that the things we throw away have such an unfortunate impact on our environment. However, there is a way to help solve the problem: recycling. You can read about what you can do on our website: Click here.