Landfills provide a common method of garbage disposal. Unfortunately, landfills are only zoned to have a specific amount of space in many communities. This means many are beginning to overflow. The solutions to landfills presented here are easy-to-implement ideas that can reduce the solid waste we produce.
1. Donate reusable items instead of throwing them away.
If something is no longer needed, but it could still be used, then donate it. Some items, such as torn clothing, can be turned into rags instead of landfill material.
2. Purchase a water bottle.
Bottled water containers flood landfills because they are either thrown away or cannot be processed by local recycling centers. By purchasing reusable water bottle, you can effectively limit the amount of waste you create. If you prefer an alternative water source than the tap, look for local water delivery systems instead of purchasing individual water bottles to fill your reusable bottle.
3. Recycle plastic shopping bags.
Look for recycling containers at your local grocery stores and retailers for your plastic bags. Choose paper over plastic if you’re given the option. A complete list of potential plastic film locations in your area can be found listed online.
4. Create a compost pile.
Natural waste in landfills occurs because we simply throw away compostable materials. Food waste, lawn waste, and other organics can be used locally with a compost pile. Then you can use this compost to create your own garden.
5. Support biomass production.
Biomass power plants can consume organic materials as a way to generate electricity. Much of the waste that we produce on a daily basis could be turned into the power we need to live the modern lifestyle.
6. Encourage local landfills to look at plastic consumption options.
A specific species of bacteria has been found to eat certain types of plastics could be introduced into local landfills to help break down waste. The bacteria is called Ideonella sakainesis and it is known to eat plastics that are called PET, which make up a majority of the plastic that is disposed of in most landfills around the world. With temperatures at 86F, plastics can break down with this bacteria in just 6 weeks.
These solutions to landfills may require some minor changes to our modern lifestyles, but the effort is an investment that is worth making. The dividends these changes will help our future generations enjoy our planet just as much as we do.