Department of Education: Impacts of Garbages in School

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Possible Solutions for Solid Waste

We do have some sustainable solutions, options that let us meet our current needs and provide for future generations as well. Our most promising alternatives are waste reduction and recycling.

Waste Reduction: Stop Throwing Things Out
A simple and obvious choice is to cut back on the amount of waste by using and throwing out less in the first place. Some states have adopted regulatory strategies to discourage dependence on landfills. In 1990, for example, California enacted a law that established a baseline for the amount of solid waste its cities and towns send to landfills. By 1995, that amount was to be reduced by 25 percent; by the year 2000, by 50 percent. California now diverts more than 25 percent of its waste, resulting in disposal of approximately 33 million tons per year. Such heavy cuts are usually accomplished by recycling.

Waste Reduction: Use Less Packaging
Packaging is one of the major sources of waste paper and plastics. According to EarthWorks Groups, it accounts for approximately one-third of all the garbage Americans send to landfills. Packaging should be minimal. Its production should be environmentally clean and it should be made up of materials that can be reused or recycled repeatedly. Some packaging is purposely elaborate to make the contents more attractive--cosmetics are notorious for this. Smart buyers can support the use of environmentally friendly packaging by purchasing products with minimal packaging or with packaging made of recycled or recyclable materials.

Recycling: Turning Waste Material into Raw Material
Recycling works, and it does so in several ways. It reduces the monetary and environmental costs of landfilling and incineration. It substitutes used materials for virgin materials, thereby reducing the demand for natural resources. It conserves energy. And it creates jobs in the communitty



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