Garbage: What a Waste!
Who wants to have a landfill in their backyard? Most people would say, “no way”. In response to the overwhelming amount of waste produced, Iowa passed the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act in 1989 . This law initiated sweeping changes to Iowa’s overall waste management systems. The changes were driven by two goals: to achieve 25 % reduction of landfill waste by July 1, 1994 and, secondly, to achieve 50% reduction in landfill waste by July 1, 2000.
Iowans generate approximately 3.2 million tons of waste annually. On average Americans generate nearly 4.4 pounds per person per day. Internationally, the U.S. leads its global neighbors in both waste generation and recycling. The U.S. produces more than twice as much waste per person per year as most other countries.
The number one item thrown away is paper at 37.8%, with yard and food waste following at 26.8%. Plastics, metal, and glass combined make-up 17.9 % of all items thrown away.
What can you do?
- Continue to recycle everything you can in your area.
- Buy recycled. It doesn’t help to recycle if you don’t purchase products made from recycled materials.
- Try to make smart purchases. Buy products with little packaging or packaging that can be recycled.
- Start a compost bin. You will reduce the amount of garbage produced and end up with some great soil for plants and gardening.
- Reuse as many items you can.