Waste management

Ecology issues

Introduction

As the human population of Earth increases, the amount of waste produced also increases. This poses problems to ecosystems around the world. Storage, dangerous chemicals, and smell are only some of the problems we face.

Landfills.

As waste increases space to put that waste decreases. Much of our waste ends up in landfills, but these landfills fill up quickly. Landfills also smell horrible; the fumes can actually cause health problems. Landfills are dangerous to surrounding wildlife because the animals may try to eat the trash and it causes damage to the habitat and ecosystem. Deforestation to make room for landfills contributes to habitat destruction. Trash is a very impactful abiotic factor especially to the community and Ecosystem. A huge problem with landfills is, despite how careful we are when constructing and managing them, eventually most of these leak. When hazardous chemicals leak from a landfill it ends up in our groundwater. Since some chemicals can't or aren't processed in processing plants, those chemicals are consumed by humans and other animals in the community.There are over 3,000 active landfills and over 10,000 active ones and that number is increasing. All these landfills take up valuable ecosystem and habitat space. The Puente Hills Landfill in Los Angeles, California is one of the biggest landfills in the world. It covers about 700 acres and is almost 500 feet high.

Climate Change

The more we burn waste, the more our atmosphere gets negatively effected. The carbon dioxide released in burning garbage ends up in the carbon cycle where it contributes to the greenhouse effect. This greatly contributes to climate change. The alternative to burning is landfills. When we throw it into the landfill it builds up causing it to compress and then they use methane to help break down the waste. The problem with methane is that it is 21 times worse than carbon. When chemical mix SO2 mixes with water and the sun acid rain is is the result. Scientists think that by 2017 the rate of landfill size increase will be triple of what it was in 2013 ,considering the human population growth chart, even with the methane system.

These the are causes and effects of increasing landfill sizes. When land fill sizes increase deforestation get worse. It causes a habitat destruction which is highly unsafe for animals. Then animals have to move to another place affecting the other food tree or die. If the species moves to another habitat it may be considered an invasive species. Invasive species often take away food from native species and have no natural predators so they thrive at the expense of native species. They may also overeat prey and cause population decrease of native species. They can also damage the community by causing a native species that is a necessary food source to other species to go extinct or become endangered.

Decomposition

A plastic bottle can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. normal plastic can take up to 10,000 years. The good news is that waste will decompose, but take thousands of years to do so. The bad news is that trash is quickly increasing. The plastics and other types of trash are not breaking down fast enough to support the rapid increase in trash. Decomposers don’t like to decompose some trash, like plastic, so it takes a very long time to degrade. Sunlight, some microorganisms, a few other abiotic factors, and biotic factors affect how fast trash decays.

Recycling

The obvious and effective solution is just to recycle things we are going to throw away. Many things can be donated to second-hand stores like Goodwill and Savers. Organic materials like Banana peels and eggshells can be composted by decomposers and later used as fertilizer. You should put paper, certain plastic, and glass items can be picked up by the recycling truck and reused by companies. Companies, however, should also make attempts to fix this problem by using recycled materials and make their products capable of being recycled.

Facts

  • a glass bottle can a take up to 1 million years to decompose
  • aluminum cans can be recycled and made into a different kind of aluminum.
  • The average person generates 4.4 pounds of waste a day.
  • The average person recycles and composts only 1.4 pounds a day.
  • the biggest lan fill in the world is from puenta hills. 500 feet high, 700 acres, and currently holding 3.7 million tons.

Other ways to preserve our world

There are some other ways everyone can play a role in helping the environment:


  1. Recycle
  2. Compost
  3. Reduce the amount of materials used (paper towls, napkins, plastic bags, etc...)
  4. Volunteer in the community around you to clean the ecosystem.
  5. Buy reusable water bottles.
  6. Look for environmentally friendly products.