Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Trash, it turns out, is really old news

The first identifiable landfill was first used about 5,000 years ago on the island of Crete. I guess it was pretty much a run-of-the-mill landfill, except that probably no one knew exactly what to call it. 

There weren’t any bulldozers back then to cover up the mess, so I wonder if anyone had the courage to object to hauling trash and garbage to that particular spot and just dumping it there in a pile.

We still haven’t figured out a good solution for taking care of our trash, really, and in some parts of the world, like Japan and Europe, acceptable landfill sites are becoming filled to capacity. Guess what happens next—less acceptable landfill sites are going to be used, and then unacceptable landfill sites are going to be used.

The Atlantic magazine recently reported that about three-quarters of the stuff in the trash stream in America could be composted or recycled, but it isn’t. Most of it is being buried or burned.

The average American produces about 130 pounds of trash each month.

Those Cretans who started piling up their trash 5,000 years ago got us started on the wrong track.

We’re trashing the planet, and I think the trash thing is going to bite us soon, in a lot less than 5,000 years.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015 All rights reserved.

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