Landfills…the continuously expanding, large piles of garbage we conveniently forget about outside the city. As much as we’d like to pretend that we’ll always have a specific area of land that we can dump all our trash into – it’s just not true.
Landfills take up a lot of space and at the rate we’re throwing out garbage, it won’t be long before landfills breach into our cities (they already are in some places).
By looking at old landfills, we can implement changes to improve our waste disposal systems.
Here’s what we can learn from old landfills:
This is by far the most important lesson we can learn from older landfills, particular types of materials just do not go away. Continuing to rely on these materials is going to create massive problems for future generations.
In some states it is illegal to dump certain toxic materials and chemicals but many other toxic metals remain legal including mercury and lead.
Right now landfills may be out of sight, out of mind but if we throw away garbage at this rate, landfills will definitely make their way into our cities.
In the developed world, landfills may have a designated space on the outskirts of cities but in the developing world they can be anywhere with empty space. Open spaces within the city often become landfills.
There is a need for the developed world to step up and help poor countries by improving their waste management systems. They also shouldn’t transfer their own waste to developing countries that cannot manage it adequately.
Much of the discarded materials dumped into landfills can be recycled. Although developed countries have implemented strategies to separate paper and plastics from the rest of the garbage, developing countries have yet to start.
There is an urgent need to inform people about their negative impact on the environment and how they can change their habits and embrace a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.
The fashion industry is responsible for generating millions of tons of waste every year. In 2016, the USA had 15million tons worth of textile waste! Year after year the number continues to grow due to the increase of fast-fashion.
At Whitehouse & Shapiro, we use our expertise in the second-hand clothing industry to reduce the USA’s environmental footprint. With our efforts, we manage to keep 2.5million tons of textile waste out of landfills every year.
We encourage everyone to control their shopping habits when it comes to clothes and donated used clothes wisely to ensure that their lifecycles are extended and they stay out of landfills for a little longer.
Want to help keep clothes out of landfills? Contact us or visit us in our offices in Baltimore!