‘The waste industry: landfilling, reduce, recycle, reuse, composting, landéll mining, waste-to-cnesgy facilities, recapcuring methane gas and hazardous toxic waste landfill storage. Before moving forward, [| want co discuss the difference between price and cust: price is the price we pay, upfront for a product or seevice. Cost is what the product costs us to maineasn that product or service over its life. Therefore, the final price of a product includes che cost.
A simple cxample of this is the purchase of an automobile, We may purchase the automobile at $30,000.00, bus we must maintain that aucomobile with monthly finance payments; this includes interest, insurance atl a maintenance schedule (i. ¢. oil change, battery replacement, tunc-ups, tire replacement, etc.). The end cast chat could be double the price, if not more. We don’t think about the full cost when we buy an item, only the price. Waste disposal is a good example. As long as we can get cid of the waste, the price dorsn’t matter.
In the U.S. we landfill 230 million tons of trash cach year. How long can we las¢ with chis amount of trash being sent to a landfill each year? Think about this: when you buy from McDonalds of any fast food restaurant, you may order any number of meals, along with a demnk. If it ts a quaecer pounder with cheese meal, it would be packaged in a cardboard box the size of the quarter pounder, french fries in another box, depending on the size of the arder, medium or large and a waxed container chat would bold a drink with a plastic cop and a straw with paper wrapped arvund for sanitary reasons, along with napkins. All of the aforementioned are not recycled, bur put into the crash.
There are 33,000 McDonalds locations worldwide, McDonalds sells 75 hamburgers every second; McDonalds consumes 1 billion pound of beef each year, at the cost of five and half million head of cattle (chink about che carbon footprint caken up by these cattle).
Although McDonalds has a program for buying recyclable cardboards, recycling its cooking oi and recycling corrugated cardboard behind the counter, the after counter packaging is left for the garbage. The reason that the meal packaging cannoe be reused, according wo McDonalds’ Web site, “is that food packaging is not widely accepted by recyclers.”
Although McDonalds saves about 35 percent of its waste by recycling corrugated cardboard and couking oil, it is landfilling 65 percent of its after counter waste. McDonalds anxl other fast food restaurants muse fired ways to develop technologies (Noah’s Ark) to help reach 100 percent of a waste recycling program after the waste leaves che counter in order to reduce the use of landfill space. Without question they certainty have the funds and the ability to pay for its development.
As we are clearly starting to understand, landfilling is becoming a major issue and public nuisance because of landfill fires, landfill odoes, underground water table contamination, methane gas leaks, illegal substance dumping and the eyesore of a high pile of garbage. Granted, landfills are starting to make Ppfog fess in certain arcas, such as:
‘The aforemencioned indicate che progression of landfilling, but given che situation and the masseve amount of garbage we cecate each year, recycling must become mandatory in the U.S. at all coses, as i¢ is mandatory in the European Nations.
The price of landfilling garbage is cheap, but the cast to mainrain a landfill is very high. Landfills require constant monitoring for methane gas odors and athee odors, such as Hydrogen Sulfide, as well as gecatly adding to the carbon footprint. A closed landfill and Superfund sites once closed and capped, have to be monitored for at least 30 years partially paid for by the owner, if the owner is not in business, then che taxpayers end up paying.
The aforementioned long-term cost should be an enormous incentive for the taxpayer co participate in aad demand mandatory recycling. According to the EPA, all Jandflls will fail and “By Definition, All Environmental Liabilities Involve Fucure Costs.” There are mandatory recycling regulations in individual states, but there are no national recycling regulations; however, the European Nations have hud mandatory recycling regulations since the catly 1990s.
So, why does the U.S. nor have mandarory recycling laws? There is ceetainly a sustainable way of reusing waste, a sustainable cost incentive, provide a great benefice of reducing our carbon foorprint and, more importantly, a sustainable way of life. Our fucure strongly depends on finding better ways to teduce, recycle and reuse by the use of or invention of technologies, creating a circular economy.