Ever wonder what happens when we throw away our garbage bags full of trash? Most of us don’t even bother thinking about where it ends up. But those of you who do wonder, it’s not just simply ending up in a landfill site. It’s a long way for the trash before it actually ends up at its final destination.
The US alone produces 258 million tons of garbage each year. Starting from the dumpsters near homes and offices and all the way up to dumping and recycling, we will tell you what process the thrown garbage waste goes through.
Where does your garbage go?
Usually, a hauler or trash truck picks up the trash from the dumpsters. They will then transport this trash to a nearby station or a designated landfill area. A waste transfer facility takes all the trash and sorts it out into different categories like recyclable waste and other materials. Once separated, the trash will then gets shift to their appropriate destinations, which can either be a waste recycling center or a landfill.
All of the household trash falls into various groups like plastic bottles, metal, paper, etc. This is a very tiresome work carried out by the labor force, who have to wear proper hazmat suits and protection to safeguard themselves from any potential health risks.
Once they categorize and separate all of the trash, the recyclable materials will then go to a nearby recycling center. Here they will prepare the trash for further reuse. Items like furniture and books etc., then such things will go to secondhand markets for further use if the condition is decent enough.
On the other hand, the wastes that are not fit for recycling ends up in modern landfills. Here they will keep all the trash in a strategic way through which they go through the natural process of decomposition with as little environmental effect as possible. If a landfill reaches its capacity, it will cover it with a thick layer of soil to stop the migration of the debris and to save the environment from being contaminated by the waste.
In the modern era, many places have started to adopt creative ways to dispose of garbage. There are waste-to-energy plants at various places around the globe that convert the trash into heat by combustion of organic substances. The gases are then released into the air after being filtered, and the heat generated by the incineration can be used to generate electricity.
While all this may sound interesting, we should not forget how the garbage we throw creates an environment of pollution around us. A lot of trash thrown out does not reach such places. Some people throw trash in the rivers, lakes, and seas, etc. This garbage can cause serious harm to the natural habitat of sea life, which in return disrupts the ecosystem and contaminates sources of food. There is a growing concern about the amount of plastic and toxic waste being thrown into the sea, which is creating a hazard for sea life.