Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Garbage disposal proposal

Garbage in pond at Bassett Creek Park
"Not in my backyard" is often loudly voiced when discussing the disposal of garbage.  So, it was no surprise to read about one suburb's negative reaction to the thought of having the garbage from a neighboring suburb be transferred to their territory, MPCA: Let's dump Hopkins' garbage in Eden Prairie

This got me to thinking of how cavalier and unaware most of us are about the disposal of our community's garbage, and more specifically, our own garbage. What if instead of having our garbage hauled off weekly we were responsible for storing all the garbage we produce at our own place of residence... literally right in our own front/back yards?  

If we knew our cast offs would be staring at us in perpetuity from our homes I'm guessing we might reconsider getting "take out" in a Styrofoam container, or frequently updating our electronic gadgets, or ever again purchasing bottled water.  We might also rethink how to roof our house, knowing that a huge pile of asphalt shingles could be a permanent eye sore and possible pollutant on our property.  Don't you think we would try to keep our cars going as long as possible, if in fact we still chose to drive?  Buying cheap "throw away" items would no longer be a thoughtless act.

The convenience of being able to toss things away, not worrying about the mounds of trash this generates, has lead us to buy things carelessly. A website, "Recycling Revolution", notes that much of what we throw away could be recycled.  It is also shamefully mentioned that the U.S. is the top trash producing country in the world, at 1,609 pounds per person per year. With only 5% of the world's people the U.S. generates 40% of the world's trash.  Seems it is time for us all to buy less, reuse and recycle more, least our children inherit a vast wasteland.

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