Monday, September 11, 2017

Where does the garbage go?

Where does the garbage go?, Metamora Herald

 Have you ever thought about how much junk mail you receive in a year? For every person with a mail box daily distributions of "junk mail" are delivered to end up at the bottom of a bird cage or directly into the trash. What about how much garbage your family produces? How many garbage bags do you leave for the trash company to pick up every week? I have been doing more recycling and thinking about garbage lately, and how I can change my habits and help out the planet.

Where does the garbage go?, Metamora Herald
photo via the California Student Sustainability Coalition -The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a mess of trash and plastic that moves around the north Pacific Ocean and is roughly the size of Texas.

 The average American person can produce up to or over four pounds of garbage a day[1]. The waste management company comes to take it away, and we do not have to think about it again. While there are massive landfills of garbage in most states the refuse is usually in a remote area so people do not have to think about, smell, or deal with it in general. Some states, however, have to dump in other states because their landfills are closed, and there is no other place to put the trash. The problem with landfills is that if not taken care of properly many issues can arise. (For example, soil damage from improper upkeep of drainage systems within the landfill) Also, the garbage decomposing creates a lot of methane gas. Harnessing the gas to use for fuel is a good idea. However, this is costly and also uses much energy. China has been purchasing some of our garbage and making products from recycled materials. Why is this not being done more here? That could create many job opportunities and help cut down on the garbage put into the landfills.

Where does the garbage go?, Metamora Herald

 At first, I was going to write about how junk mail is becoming out of hand, but the truth is, the garbage we produce is out of control. Plastic, (which could now be made with biodegradable materials) can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. If it were only made with vegetable based oils, for example, it could biodegrade at a much quicker pace. Recycling is not the law in Illinois, and in some areas, you have to pay an extra fee for your garbage company to pick up your recycling. Pay to recycle? No one wants to pay extra or do the extra work to break down boxes and plastic. I get it, trust me I do. Isn't it worth it to you to have a planet where we can all live without [2] garbage islands in the ocean?

Where does the garbage go?, Metamora Herald

 You may be thinking, how would someone who owns a newspaper feel that way? In case you were wondering, we do not have a print version of Metamora Herald and we will never publish one. The energy used to make an actual print news paper is a large waste. The chemicals used and the garbage created is so damaging to the environment.  Unfortunately, Illinois passed the "Newspaper Legal Notice Act" in 2011. This act required that public notices in Illinois be published by a "conventional and generally recognized printing processes", barring the publication of these notices directly online which many states now allow. In my opinion, this was a way for print newspapers to hold on to their dying and archaic business model, continuing to earn a profit by overcharging.

Where does the garbage go?, Metamora Herald

 "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" is a great mantra. We in Metamora are fortunate to have recycling trailers that are picked up and handled by ADDWC. I am so thankful and glad we have this amazing group helping with this important issue and also helping adults with disabilities. If you are interested in helping out ADDWC, please get involved with their third annual Going Green Golf Tournament at Metamora Fields, on September 27th, 2017. 

 There is no deadline to register for the event, and many great prizes will be given away including "5-4 night/5 day cruises, a trip to Las Vegas, and two sets of 2 tickets to an event of your choice". There will also be a raffle for an autographed and framed Dick Butkus jersey and a silent raffle of an autographed Kris Bryant 8x10 and a few other items.

sources: [1] [2]

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