Env. Sci and Sust. Unit 4 IP MSW - Angela Khan...

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Angela Khan Environmental Science and Sustainability June 13, 2016 Landfills of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is usually considered garbage, typically household waste. Many companies manage recycling programs and effective waste prevention. According to the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], the country’s waste industry successfully managed 251 million tons of household and other MSW in 2012, averaging 4.4 pounds of garbage thrown away each day, per person. (Vault Rankings and Reviews, 2016). Early efforts to manage MSW burned waste in incinerators, but by the early 1900’s, there were about 300 incinerators just in North America. (Vault Rankings and Reviews, 2016). During the mid-20 th century, the government finally got involved in an effort to address concerns about MSW and its disposal. (Vault Rankings and Reviews, 2016) Obviously this process had to change because the world was changing. Back then, there was less population. Some people would (and still do) burn their own trash on their own property. (If’ you’ve never lived in Texas, let me assure you, it’s a LOVELY smell!) England’s Industrial Revolution in the mid-1700’s, caused the city populations to swell as people were drawn to the areas where the factories would provide work. (Vault Rankings and Reviews, 2016) This many people, this close together, started producing unprecedented quantities of sewage, garbage, and other wastes. By the 1800’s, the smog hand engulfed London and all manner of wastes were dumped into the Thames River. (Vault Rankings and Reviews, 2016)

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