Waste Environmental Issues

We Make a Lot of Waste

According to the EPA, each year, Americans generate over 250 millions tons of trash and we only recycle or compost 1.51 pounds of the 4.4 pounds of waste each person generates per day!

We can reduce the waste that we make by the 4 Rs — reduce, reuse, recycle, and repurposing.

Our Waste Is Toxic

Due to largely to lax governmental regulation on an ever-growing chemical industry, everyday products that are used and thrown away contain more dangerous and health-affecting chemicals than ever before. Even those chemicals whose health implications are at this point clear, such as Biphenyl-A (BPA), commonly found in plastics like toys, are poorly regulated. The unprecedented toxicity of garbage exacerbates the problem that nationally we have no clear solution for dealing with waste.

More than 60, 000 untested chemicals pervade the consumer products on our shelves and in our homes.

Regulations Favor Special Interests

Because the waste business has become a commercial, money making venture, citizens are outmatched at the state house by industry lobbyists. Regulations, therefore, currently make it difficult for communities or states to effectively regulate waste management facilities, and difficult to devote resources to recycling or waste reduction programs.

The waste industry itself is a commercial business. Large corporations like Casella Waste Industries and Waste Management dominate all aspects of the market and benefit from operating landfills and incinerators, along with recycling facilities. Since the waste management facilities have become big businesses, the corporate need to make a profit outweighs the community’s need reduce waste and to protect health and the environment from potentially destructive waste management practices. In fact, even if a community designed and implemented a zero waste program in their own town, they would not be able to prevent waste from other municipalities or states from coming into a commercial facility in their borders.

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