Landfill sites aren’t just an eye-sore, they can pose serious health and environmental problems, as well. We need to find better ways to dispose of our trash than dumping it in the ground. Here are three reasons to find alternative methods of waste disposal than a landfill site.
What is a landfill site
A landfill site is a huge hole in the ground where all your trash is dumped and buried. The more you throw in the trash, the faster the hole is filled and a new site is necessary. As the trash is covered, it begins to rot, releasing methane gas and other greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are the first of three reasons to reduce trash in landfill sites.
When you pack all trash into a big hole and cover it with dirt you are going to essentially suffocate the garbage. When you remove oxygen, organic materials and food begin to break down anaerobically and rot. Eventually, the rot becomes methane. Although CO2 accounts for 82% of all greenhouse gas emissions, methane can do enormous damage with very little. In a five year period, methane can trap 100 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
Toxins in the groundwater
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that all that trash isn’t sanitary. Where there is trash, there are toxins. Electronics that are dumped in the trash pose a particularly big problem because of the toxins they release when they break down. Should any of these toxins seep into the groundwater, they could pose serious health risks for years.
So much of what ends up in a landfill could be composted, recycled, or repurposed. By allowing perfectly “good” trash to go to a landfill site, we are wasting an opportunity to use the trash. Trash can be used to generate energy and heat.
Improving our landfills and managing waste
We all need to make efforts to reduce waste and find alternative ways to dispose of trash. Landfill sites are heavily regulated to reduce the risk for nearby communities. Steps have also been taken to minimize the release of toxins and greenhouse gases with a membrane covering the landfill.
Recycling is a big part of the effort to reduce trash, reduce landfill sites, and reduce global warming. Sunrise Sanitation Services was named 2016 Recycler of the Year by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. On top of regular curbside trash pick-up for your home, business, and job site, we also have 24/7 recycling drop off centers throughout West Virginia and Maryland.