- Politics and Social Issues
What Will Happen If We Don't Recycle?
I wrote this report twenty five years ago. Back in the 1980's, people were trying to predict what would happen way out in the future many years later, in the 1990's and beyond, with all the trash that was quickly filling up the landfills if people didn't recycle, and all the pollution. Now the 1990's are in the past. We're still searching for solutions to these problems and trying to find alternative energy sources.
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What Will Happen If We Don't Recycle?
The landfills are filling up fast. Most of them are getting full and closing down. A third have closed since 1980. More than half the cities on the East Coast will run out of room in their landfills by 1990. In New York, 14 sites have closed in the past 10 years. All of Seattle's sites will soon be full. We're running out of space to put all the trash. Some of the hazardous waste in landfills gets into the groundwater and pollutes it. When common garbage is burned, it can release dangerous gases into the air. Each year Americans throw away 1.6 billion pens, 2 billion razors and blades and 220 million tires. They discard enough aluminum to rebuild the entire U.S. commercial airline fleet.
How important is it to reduce trash that goes into a landfill?
Recycle Clothing - From Amazon
Show the world that you recycle and spread the message by wearing a T shirt.
The greenhouse effect keeps the earth warm when functioning normally. For the first time in history, human activities are altering the climate of our entire planet. In less than 2 centuries, humans have increased the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 25% from the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests. Almost 20 years after the clean air act passed, millions of Americans still breathe dirty air. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over seventy six million people live in areas where the clean air standard is exceeded.
Recycling Books - From Amazon
Read about what you can do to help the environment.
Ozone, the primary component of smog, is a gas formed when nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons combine in sunlight. In the atmosphere, ozone occurs naturally as a thin layer that protects us from the sun's ultraviolet rays. But when it's formed at ground level, it's deadly. Lung damage from ozone polluted air is a risk faced by roughly 3 out of 5 Americans. Ozone smog is responsible for extensive damage to pines in California and in the Eastern United States. It's also to blame for crop losses in many agricultural states. As ozone diminishes in the upper atmosphere, the earth receives more ultraviolet radiation which depresses the human imune system. It will affect the well being of every person on the planet.
In 1983, 266 million tons of hazardous waste were generated. Advanced nations manufacture some 70,000 different chemicals, most of which have not been thoroughly tested. Careless use and disposal of these substances contaminate our food, water, and air. We enjoy the convenience of such chemically derived products as plastics, detergents, and aerosals and yet we are often unaware of the hidden price tag associated with them. Eventually they find their way into water and/or the ground via landfills and drains.
Because we have not understood groundwater, and how vulnerable it is, we have been careless. Gasoline and other harmful liquids have been allowed to leak from underground storage tanks into the groundwater supply. Polluntants seep from poorly constructed landfills. Groundwater is polluted by runoff from fertilized fields and industrial areas. Homeowners contribute by dumping household chemicals down the drain or on the ground.
Water Pollution Poll
How important is it to reduce water pollution?
No one really knows how much plastic is fouling the oceans, but a recent report estimated that up to 350 million pounds of packaging and fishing gear may be lost or dumped by fisherman and sailors each year. Millions of pounds more may come from individuals, private boats, and factories.
Sulfur and nitrogen oxide polluntants released by coal burning electric power plants or motor vehicles are spewed into the atmosphere. There they are changed chemically and they fall back to earth as acid rain or snow. This destroys plant and animal life in streams, damages forests, and even erodes buildings. In 1980 there were 4.4 billion people on earth. In 1990 there will be 5.2 billion. Every day some of these people move into places on the planet where only plants and animals used to live. Forests are cut down. Wetlands, oceans, ice caps, and prairies are invaded.
Air Pollution Poll
How important is it to reduce air pollution?
Recycling and Pollution
If we don't recycle the things that can be recycled, we'll run out of landfill space and the water and air pollution will increase.
Recycling Bins - From Amazon
These bins are excellent to help you sort and organize.
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