We recycle books, which is a dangerous because I find many that I want to read. I have actually read a few.
School children’s books about different issues that interest me are great as they describe the basics.
Recently I read ‘Garbage’ by Eleanor J. Hall that is part of a series called ‘Our Endangered Planet’.
The first paragraphs of the Introduction put it in perspective.
All living things produce waste. Most natural waste is broken down in nature and reused for other purposes. Human beings have created many new materials that nature cannot decompose. The amount of biodegradable waste humans produce is too large for nature to take care of.
The amount of waste per person has grown significantly since the 1960’s as people had more money and more things to buy.
It used to all be garbage but as landfills grew big problems grew as well. Taking care of garbage became a challenge for municipal governments that required expertise, regulation, time and money.
It got new name. Solid waste management has categories such as organics, hazardous waste, paper materials, plastics and metals.
Programs like recycling, composting, metal salvage, separating hazardous waste for proper disposal are growing in an effort to reduce the harm to the environment and the costs and space requirements of landfills.
It hasn’t all been figured out. Each community has its own programs and challenges resulting from available information, community size, financial resources, physical environment, history, regulations and political will.
Many issues described in the book published in 1997 still exist today. New ideas, technologies and habits result in changes. The waste created by humans will continue to demand time and resources to manage