Waste Recycling

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Garbology Solution

Nowadays the waste problem is very significant, and it requires the efficient solution. In 2011, US citizens had produced 250 million tons of garbage and only 87 million tons of it was composted or recycled (Municipal Solid Waste 1). For this reason, it is necessary for Americans to reduce their waste and try to use new methods of recycling.

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In the book Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash, Edward Humes presents the solution of the garbage problem, and it is based on the effort of individuals to reduce the amount of waste. According to Humes, some people had decreased the utilization of plastic because it can stop the plastization of oceans. Other people try to start such business activities as Chico-Bag and TerraCycle. Moreover, Edward Humes composes a set of practical steps with the help of which people can reduce negative impact on the environment and it is necessary to specify them. The steps are following: refusing of unnecessary goods, stop buying bottled water, buying things wisely, buying goods in fewer amounts, buying used and refurbished items, using no plastic grocery bags and stop buying disposable cutlery. However, it is hard to agree with his opinion completely because the only effective strategy to overcome this problem is cooperation with small business, people and industry.

In his book, Edward Humes deals with the problem of landfills, which in my opinion are one of the most important and dangerous way of waste disposal. I want to propose to research this problem and review the methods of its overcoming. Landfills have negative impact on a surrounding medium and all its components: soil, forests, flora and fauna, air and groundwater (Worrell and Vessilind 104). Moreover, the value of waste management policy is defined by a constant increase in the waste quantity and the cost of its collection, storage, processing, and disposal. In the 20th century, the Municipal Solid Waste Management System had faced the problem of the municipal solid waste accumulation and disposal both in the local landfills and open dumps. Since 1960s, the society was worried about the so-called waste crisis and the local North American governments had to remove local landfills and create new ones, which would correspond to the criteria of contaminants storage.

However, since the 2000s, the amount of garbage has been constantly growing; moreover, the concentration of toxic components is increasing, and the government has to update the process of reduction. The government had applied reuse strategies, materials recycling and composting, and incineration approach to deal with this issue.

The government provides incentives for waste recycling that include credit and tax privileges, and also accelerated depreciation of the fixed capital intended for recycling. The main ways of waste disposal regulation are limits and payments. The government authorizes waste burial allocating special places for this purpose (Worrell and Vessilind 342). The regulation of waste disposal involves the application of various technologies, subsidies, credit, and tax privileges.

Landfills are relatively inexpensive means of waste disposal, and they are widespread today. However, due to the fact that the amount of waste increases day by day, the landfills become increasingly common. The improved environmental practice and engineering design of landfill maintenance and construction have also increased the life and capacity of many already existing landfills.

It is important to reduce the level of danger from the landfills, so the sanitary landfills were made. Sanitary landfill is a predesigned ditch, which is constantly covered with the six inch layer of soil making it sanitary. These layers of soil prevent birds, rodents, or insects from reaching the waste. Sanitary landfills are legally permitted and licensed and their impact on the environment and ecology is minimal (Worrell and Vessilind 143). Burial of waste can provide safe and economically efficient disposal of solid municipal waste. Successful disposal of solid municipal waste depends on the adequate financing, relevant legislation, and governmental support.

The landfills are not the only possible problems solution, there are another effective ways of garbage disposal, which are waste reduction, reuse, and recycling. In my opinion, they are more efficient than landfills and with their help people can turn garbage into advantage.

Recycling is a process of using trash to transform it into raw materials. After transforming these materials will be used to create new products, more often raw materials are recycled from plastic, glass, aluminum, and paper. Recycling saves natural resources, energy and reduces the level of pollution. The process of recycling implies four operations, they are collection, reclaiming, sorting, and reusing. Another method that can help to manage the waste is reducing (Recycling 8). This method involves buying items with prolonged period of use, buying products that have less raw materials, and buying things that can be used for more than one time. Reuse is application of things more than once. Reusing things can be done by selling, fixing them, or donating.

Nowadays, there are a lot of modern methods of recycling. Curbside recycling is a method, when a big truck picks up the recyclable materials from buildings at the curb. Local charities take things that can be given to the people who are in need. More often people donate household items, shoes, clothes, and consumer electronics. Drop-off Centers are the services that collect recyclable garbage. These services often located in public areas. Such centers receive cans, paper, garden waste, glass, and other things (Recycling 14). Buy-back centers is the service that pays money to citizens for some types of materials like plastic, glass, cardboard, and aluminum cans with California Redemption Value stamp on the label. One more recycling method is compositing, and it involves the moldering of natural waste. Vermicomposting is subtype of composting that uses worms to ruin material (Recycling 15). It is necessary to involve more and more people into these activities and advertise these methods of recycle in an active way.

The government should also sponsor the programs that help people to understand the process of recycle and taught people how to reuse the trash into the useful things. For these purposes, local government must organize free classes for citizens, where lecturers will explain people how to reuse thing, composte natural materials, collect items for recycling. Moreover, these classes will explain the difference between various modern methods, and provide information about recycling centers in the definite region (Polpraset 476). These educational programs should also explain the basis of the reducing methods. Nowadays, the new form of art that uses trash as the material becomes popular, that is why local governments should support the artists who want to devote themselves to this style. For example, it is possible to provide access to the abundance of trash that is available at the public dumps for Bay Area artists. Moreover, local government may organize some expositions of the trash art and make some contests among population. For example, today many universities and colleges practice these competitions among students to promote this method of waste reusing.

In conclusion, it is important to highlight that the methods of recycle, reduce and reuse are more efficient than landfills. Moreover, it is necessary to involve population into the process of recycling, especially at the stage of collection; also government may encourage the most active participants, for example, with some allowances. Nevertheless, people should never forget that the future of our planet is in our hands.

Works Cited

Municipal Solid Waste. US Environmental Protection Agency. 2001. Web. 14. Nov. 2013.

Polpraset, Chongrak. Organic Waste Recycling: Technology and Management. London: IWA Publishing Alliance House. Print.

Recycling. Irvine: Saddleback Educational Publishing. 2009. Print.

Worrell, A., William. and Vessilind, P., Aarne. Solid Waste Engineering. Stamford: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.

Annotated Bibliography

Polpraset, Chongrak. Organic Waste Recycling: Technology and Management. London: IWA Publishing Alliance House. Print.

The book Organic Waste Recycling: Technology and Management research the problem of organic waste recycling. This book is divided in ten chapters. Moreover, the author examine characteristics of waste, composting, biofuel and algae production, utilization of aquatic weeds, wastewater and sludge land treatment, and recycling management program. Also, this book explains new strategies and concepts of organic waste management, and it includes information on newest recycling technologies. This book can be useful for students of advanced course of engineering or environmental sciences.

Recycling. Irvine: Saddleback Educational Publishing. 2009. Print.

This book describes recycle, reuse, and reduce methods. Moreover, it reviews the recycling process of different materials, for example of cans, paper, plastic, wood, electronics, or asbestos. This book also examines the modern ways of recycle and explains their main points. This work can be useful for both students and individuals that want to learn more about waste disposing.

Worrell, A., William. and Vessilind, P., Aarne. Solid Waste Engineering. Stamford: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.

In the book Solid Waste Engineering, Worrell and Vessilind discuss the problem of solid waste disposal. Authors describe the issue of controlling the garbage, and its rational utilization. This book is divided in nine chapters. Within the book authors address to the questions of reuse, reduction, recycling, recovery, disposal of waste in landfills and energy conversion and explain how to apply them in the real world. Moreover, they engage municipal characteristics and quantities of solid waste, and describe the process of garbage collection and its separation. Also, Worrell and Vessilind explain biochemical processes and their impact at the environment. This book can be useful for the students of graduate or advanced course and helps to think logically about the solutions and problems in solid waste engineering.

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