Every year in England alone we throw away some 25.5 million tonnes of rubbish in our waste bins and it increases each and every year as we throw more and more rubbish away, and the population continues to expand.
That’s enough rubbish to fill every Premiership football stadium in the country and with such large quantities of rubbish, litter and trash, it’s a miracle we are not all knee deep in filth.
While most of us aware that our rubbish has to end up somewhere, few people take the time to think where all this waste is going and whether or not we will ever run out of capacity on our burgeoning landfills.
There are really only three methods of dealing with household waste and each comes with its own costs and disadvantages:
Perhaps the preferred and most eco friendly method of dealing with waste and rubbish is to recycle it. Recycling is just a term to describe reusing materials, either in their original guise or by breaking them down to their raw materials. Paper, glass, metal and a whole host of materials can be reused and recycled which reduced the amount of waste that is just dumped on landfill. Many households now have recycling bins for separation of these items. However, not everything we throw away can be recycled and it can often be costly.
Much of our recycling is also exported abroad added further environmental costs to our rubbish disposal as well as causing environmental problems in many of the developing countries this rubbish gets shipped to.
Sadly the majority of what we throw away in our rubbish bins ends up in landfills. A landfill is just a dump where items are permanently stored until the landfill is full and then it is covered over. Some items on landfill sites slowly degrade, especially organic waste but a lot of what is dumped on our landfills can last for years and years.
However, landfills are not all bad news. The gases produced by rotting rubbish is now being harvested as a source of energy and many former landfills whilst unsuitable to build houses on are often turned into nature parks or other green environments.
In areas where there is insufficient space incineration is still regularly used to get rid of rubbish. Incineration is perhaps the most environmentally damaging method of removing rubbish but in many areas there is little choice. The energy from the incinerators can be harvested though so it is not all bad news when it comes to burning rubbish.