Will the US ever run out of places to put its trash?

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    230 million pounds of waste is generated by Americans every day. That’s 4.6 pounds per person. Sadly, less than one quarter of that waste is recycled, which means that the US is running out of places to put its trash. Although 70% of that waste could be recycled, instead it is getting put in landfills or incinerated. However, many of the countries landfills have now closed for one of two reasons – either they are full or the groundwater in the area is being contaminated by the waste and therefore no more trash can be dumped in the area without creating a major health crisis for the people living near by that are dependent on that groundwater. While incineration is another solution to our waste, it is an expensive one, especially when a lot of the trash being thrown out is recyclable. Also, burning all this waste creates toxic air pollution and the waste product of burning waste is ash. What happens to that ash? It gets dumped in landfills, which we already know are a limited resource. Therefore the only real solution to this problem of what to do with our waste is to recycle more so that there is less that needs to be dumped. It will help decrease the demand on land resources for dumping as well as saving a lot of resources that are mindlessly wasted everyday in a country that uses 20% of the world’s resources on only 5% of the world population.

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