Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Trash, lots of trash...

One of the least pleasant parts of our move was a mandatory trip to the landfill. (We didn't have enough room on Ryan's trailer, so we had to dump the trash in his Dad's before we could load our boxes.) YUCK! This was not just stinky, but an all-out disgusting experience.

We drove up on top of the mountain (literally) of trash to wait in line behind other trucks dumping garbage. The person right before us dumped the remains of last week's yard sale (an old green recliner, a vacuum, a huge wooden sign), while a trucker used a 2x4 to scrape goop out of his truck. Trash blew everywhere--cardboard boxes, plastic milk bottles, scraps of paper. And, while bemoaning the smell and the waste, we threw our own scraps of wood and bags of moving trash over the sides of the trailer.

Most of the trash we saw blowing around could have been recycled. Staring at the mountains of trash really brought home the reality of waste disposal. As a consumer society, we have way too much trash. If we ate natural foods, we'd cut down on packaging waste. Recycling reduced our trash by at least half. The new compostable plastics (sun chips bags are compostable now) are great, but we can do more. Ryan & I talked about composting for several years, but we never did it. 

I think that we like to throw our trash away, happily leaving it up to the garbage man to make it 'disappear' like the "Vapoorize" product in Envy. But, as the people in the movie said--it has to go somewhere! All that trash goes somewhere--to create huge mountains made of trash. Seeing it in person makes us want to reduce the amount of trash produced by our family.

4 comments:

Kelly said...

Compostable plastics? Never heard of that. Not sure I'd want that on my food garden either. Will have to learn more about that. I'd also like to know what local laws say about burning our trash. We recycle anything that's recyclable, but there's still trash-most of ours could be safely burned, I think. Those ashes would be good for the soil, wouldn't they?
I agree that consumerism is what creates so much trash, and we don't even think about whether it's needed. Do I really need a plastic bag for the one or two items I just bought at the store? The bagger is so quick to just mindlessly do it before I remember to say I don't need one!

worryfreemom said...

The Sunchips bags and the cups we found at Fat Burger are made of corn, not plastic, which is why they are compostable. There are pictures on the back of the SunChips bags to show how it works. Very interesting & promising, I think. I would think that burning would be better than sending trash to the dump, although I'm sure some environmentalists/climate change enthusiasts might disagree. There's very little trash left, though, after recycling and composting. Just meat, which, if you have a dog or two, isn't a problem, either. I It sounds like a lot of work to get going initially, but I think once you got into the habit, it would be easy.

Diane said...

I first ran into the biogradable plastics a few years ago. I was at a Dog Bakery in Akin, SC and the plastic bag they gave me with all my dog treats had info all over it about how after a year it would completely break down. We have a local coffee shop who has to-go cups that do the same thing. I know it is more expensive, but I wish everyone was required to use biogradable materials.

Chelsey said...

Everyone should visit a dump once a month -- don't you think? It would really change what we do with our wastes...

Donating, freecycle, recycling, composting -- all better alternatives.

I'd love to try worm composting -- you can do it in your house even! :0

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