Tossing everyday items into the trash can seem like second nature to many people. If you are implementing recycling techniques into your lifestyle, you are taking a positive step toward helping the environment. Learner.org notes that in the U.S. alone, over 230 million tons of trash is produced each year. Less than 25 percent of that waste is recycled and the rest ends up in landfills, incinerated or in ditches and roadsides. Improper garbage disposal isn't just an eyesore; it poses a serious threat to nature.
It is important to learn the basics of recycling so that the waste that does end up in landfills can be disposed of properly. Plastics, metals, papers and certain types of glass can all be recycled at your local recycling center. If you take the time to send these items to recyclable locations, the items can be reused and returned to consumers. They won't end up as trash or hurting the environment. If recyclables are placed into the ground they can potentially contaminate the surrounding soil. The Western Courier shares with readers that as plastic water bottles break down they can release DEHA, a type of carcinogen that can cause reproductive problems, liver issues and weight loss. This type of chemical can leach into the soil and cause contamination that can reach plant and animal life as well as water sources. Newspapers or paper that contains ink can be toxic to the soil as well. If the garbage is dumped or not contained properly in a landfill it will contaminate the surrounding ground.
When disposing of garbage that contains harmful chemicals such as bleach, acid or oil it is important that it is disposed of in approved containers and labeled correctly. Paper, plastics and other materials that are burned can contaminate the air when they are burned. Over time the chemicals can build up in the ozone layer. If they contain toxic chemicals like dioxin they can reach the air... [continues]
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