Landfills: Why Not?
Landfills represent the most common form of modern waste management, but they are far from ideal.
When we bury discarded materials in landfills, we are forced to go back to square one in our linear society — namely, the extraction of virgin materials. Not only does this approach not mitigate the impacts of the linear society, it actually makes things worse.
Continuing to use landfills without working towards implementing alternatives perpetuates the perverse process of pitching valuable resources into irretrievable pits — a gross disservice to future generations. Additionally, landfilling organics causes them to release the greenhouse gas methane, which is about twenty-five times worse than carbon dioxide as far as climate change is concerned. Finally, unlined landfills contaminate groundwater with leachate (noxious garbage juice), and all lined landfills eventually spring leaks, giving way to the same problem eventually.
There's a Better Way
Trying to decide what we should do with the billions of tons of waste our global society produces is a little like trying to stop a bathtub from overflowing by repetitively scooping the water out with a bucket. A much more efficient solution would start by turning off the tap. That is what makes the zero waste movement so vital to sustainable waste management.
To explore zero waste solutions, choose an avenue below.