toxic chemicals into the air and produces another form of waste (ash) to be landfilled” ( Toxics Action Center ) . Since the 1800’s, countries such as the U.S. have been dumping trash in landfills, and will continue to do so until a better plan is reached (Baptista). Several countries around the world are dealing with obscene amounts of waste. Although, one country that is dealing with the waste efficiently is Sweden. They are one of the leading countries in the way they manage waste. Sweden created methods which allows their community to reuse waste. Some of the methods include, “Newspapers are turned into paper mass, bottles are reused or melted into new items, plastic containers become plastic raw material; food is composted and becomes soil or biogas through a complex chemical process” ( Sweden.se ) Since there is infinitesimal waste made, Sweden has to “Import waste from other countries just to keeps it’s recycling plants going”(Sheffield). Just as Native Americans used every part of an
Hopperstad 3 animal they hunted, Swedes go to the depths to ensure that all waste is used in some way. As an illustration, “The smoke from incineration plants consists of 99.9 per cent non-toxic carbon dioxide and water, but is still filtered through dry filters and water. The dry filters are then deposited. The sludge from the dirty filter water is used to refill abandoned mines”( Sweden.se ). Additionally, the energy that is made from burning the waste is used to power homes in Sweden. Sweden has accomplished a productive way to rid of trash, so solutions are available. Flashing back to the United States, 3,091 landfills are still in use.( LANDFILLS ). The United States has yet to come up with an efficient method for waste. “Every year, the United States generates approximately 230 million tons of "trash"--about 4.6 pounds per person per day” ( Annenberg Learner) . In spite of this, many Americans are unaware of the extensive amount of waste they contribute to the world. The trash system typically charges a flat fee for a waste company to dispose of household waste weekly. With Americans trash disappearing quite frequently, the amount of trash they are using is often not thought about, out of sight, out of mind. The methods of disposal the U.S. not only causes damages towards the environment, but is harmful for the health of citizens living near landfills and incineration plants. To put it differently, “The atmosphere can be poisoned by the toxic discharge from trash... When waste is not collected, the frequency of illness such as diarrhea doubles and acute respiratory infection — linked to the burning of waste — is six times higher” ( Los Angeles Times ). Not only that, but a large amount of money is spent on waste management each year. The U.S. spends around $200 billion on disposing trash. In America, the excessive use of landfills and incineration plants are the main way to dispose of waste, and are the cause of environmental issues.
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- Fall '15