Understanding the Lifecycle of Trash
You rent a dumpster
(that’s a great idea), then you fill it up with garbage (that’s what you’re supposed to do). Then, that’s all she wrote – the company picks the dumpster up and hauls the garbage off, and we never have to see it again. We understand that the trash has to go somewhere, but many of us don’t know exactly where it is going. So, with that thought in mind, we’re going to take a look at the lifecycle of trash.
The lifecycle of the garbage begins at home, in your kitchen. Once the trashcan fills up, you put it outside at the curb (if you have the luxury of getting your trash picked up), or you put it in your truck and drop it off at the county dump.
Okay, got it. The trash is picked up by the garbage man, but where does the garbage man take it? Normally, the garbage man takes your trash to what is referred to as a Transfer Station. A transfer station is a place where all of the local trash is dumped before it is taken to the final destination. There are numerous places where the final destination could be. The final destination for the garbage could be:
The trash is buried and left at the landfill to decompose. This is a process that can take hundreds of years, even if the materials are biodegradable.
When the trash is taken to the incinerator, the garbage is burned, making it turn into ash. Sometimes, this process is used to create energy – a process that is referred to as “waste-to-energy.”
When the trash is taken to the recycling center, it is transferred to a manufacturing plant, and the materials will be used to make new products for consumers.
We’d like to explain landfills to you, so you can have an understanding of how they work. Many landfills have layers. Those layers are there for environmental safety and include a liner complete with a drainage system, a gas collection system, and a layer that is for trash. Whenever the landfill gets full, there is a barrier of compacted clay and synthetic material that contains the trash.
If the garbage isn’t managed correctly; it could end up polluting our air and water and causing great harm to the environment. When you illegally dump your trash
, it could end up:
- In the ocean
- On the side of the road
- In the forest
None of this is a beautiful sight to see and nothing should have to live in such conditions. This is why it is important that you make sure you put your trash in the proper containers and start recycling. The garbage isn’t going to disappear once you put it in that dumpster you rented. Once it leaves your home, it will end up somewhere and it will have an impact on the environment in some way.