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Ryder Massey

Mr. Garcia

Period 4th

April 30th, 2019

The Disposal of Waste on Planet Earth

On Planet Earth, humans create around 2.12 billion tons of trash every single year, (4)

and the world is running out of ways to get rid of this waste (Tons of waste dumped - globally,

this year). This waste may not directly influence the average person; however, this trash adding

up can start getting into the environment and affecting the communities’ water, food and

wildlife. In 2013, the United States prevented 87.2 million tons of material from being disposed

by recycling and composting. If there wasn’t 87.2 million tons recycled in 2013, there would’ve

been around 186 million metric tons of greenhouse gases produced which would’ve polluted the

planet’s atmosphere even more (Brenner 2019). If nothing is done to keep reducing the amount

number of waste disposed, then the World would start to run out of fossil fuels, (4) and

greenhouse gas production would continue to rise. This can be stopped if people start putting a

lot more effort in a safe, efficient wasteway of the disposal of waste.

Recycling is a very good way of getting rid of waste in the way of reusing the used

product and using it in a entirely different way. A good example of recycling is just regular

notebook paper after using it in school, can be changed into a cardboard, newspaper and office

paper by utilizing the recycling process ("How paper is recycled" 2018)(run-on). In 2014, the

average person recycled 1.51 pounds to every 4.40 pound of waste generated (Municipal Solid

Waste). Based on a 2014 study from Lane Community College, it costs for a landfill 717.11$ for

a ton of material but only and cost $359.21 to recycle only costed 359.21$ for a ton of material
(Cost Comparison - Recycling vs. Garbage). Recycling is a very productive way of saving waste

from going into the environment.

Recycling has many pros to get rid of waste; however; there are some flaws to it as well.

First, recycling causes more energy consumption and pollution by having the materials

transported and processed by the factories which all require needs of energy that can harm the

environment. In 2009, the exhaust of 179,000 vehicles that were used to transport materials to

recycle contained three dozen toxins that are all airborne. Another example is in Taiwan,

recycled steel in buildings were found to have gamma radiation causing an increase in radiation

levels to increase in the people around it ("13 Advantages and Disadvantages of Recycling"

2017). Recycling can be very helpful to the environment, but it also can cause harm to it as well.

Landfills are another option for Earth to be able to put waste and minimize damage from

the waste on the environment. Landfills have some pros and cons to using them for waste

disposal. First, Landfills are designed to prevent any contaminants on the surrounding

environment and are made sure it is not around any specific areas like a fault or flood plains.

Landfills have many ways of detecting a breach of any type such as groundwater monitoring

requirements and leachate collection/removal systems (Municipal Solid Waste).

Landfills have some good pros; however, it also has some cons for it. In landfills, most of

the waste does not decay which means it will stay there for millions upon millions of years.

Leachates, which is a liquid that has passed through many materials of waste especially in

landfills, were studied by the Environmental Protection Agency and results showed if allowed

directly into water then it would severely damage the quality of that water (Municipal Solid

Waste). Landfills does have it’s good sides to using it; however, the bad effects outweigh the

There areis many ways of disposing trash; however, they aren’t all good for the

environment such aslike local water sources and wildlife. Out of the two solutions, recycling is

the best option for the world to try to stop a problem that will become inevitable if people do

nothing about it. Recycling is much cheaper, offers less risk of problems occurring from it such

as polluting water supplies and resources the waste instead of getting rid of it entirely. Recycling

is a option that everyone can be involved with by just dropping a water bottle in a recycling bin

or composting in your backyard with food waste; however, landfill’s don’t have that option other

than just dropping trash into a trash can. In the disposal of waste, recycling needs to be the focus

minimizing the water, gas and food pollution which can be horrible for the planet and the human

race if nothing is done.

Works Cited
Brenner, Laurie. “The Effects of Not Recycling.” Sciencing, 2 Mar. 2019,
“Cost Comparison - Recycling vs. Garbage.” Recycling Services | Lane Community

“Municipal Solid Waste.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency,

“Tons of Waste Dumped - Globally, This Year.” The World Counts,

“13 Advantages and Disadvantages of Recycling.”, 14 Jan. 2017,

“Wastes.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 19 Nov. 2018,


“How Paper Is Recycled.” Recycling Guide, 18 Apr. 2018, www.recycling-

Raulinaitis, Joseph. “FDA Goes Fishing for Toxic Waste.” FDA Consumer, vol. 28, no.
2, Mar. 1994, p. 18. EBSCOhost,,custuid&custid=s8455861&

Handelman, Stephen, et al. “WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR LAKES? (Cover Story).”

Time International (Canada Edition), vol. 164, no. 23, Dec. 2004, p. 40. EBSCOhost,,custuid&custid=s8455861&

Swing, John Temple. “What Future for the Oceans?” Foreign Affairs, vol. 82, no. 5, Sept.
2003, p. 139. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2307/20033689.