The planet Earth is truly astonishing. The Earth recycles everything and reuses the material from dead plants and animals to feed new plant life and to make new soil to replenish itself. But some things that are man-made take hundreds of years for the Earth to decompose. Humankind should try to do the same thing the Earth does: recycle. Trash has been overwhelming landfills and filling the lakes, ponds and rivers in Missouri and across the world. It’s up to humans to prevent this and ensure a better future.
Missourians generate 6.15 pounds of waste daily. That’s 37 percent above the national average of 4.5 pounds. According to the Missouri Department of National Resource’s 2006-2007 Waste Composition Study, nearly 45 percent of the municipal solid waste deposited in Missouri landfills could have been recycled. Some of the wastes in landfills included metals, paper, plastics, and glass. The study estimated that each year more than 1.9 million tons of recyclable materials were disposed of in Missouri landfills. That’s 1.9 million tons of materials that could have been recycled. It’s important to reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to get these numbers down and keep landfills from containmenting the environment. Ways to do this are donate old furniture, clothes, and other items to charities, start composting, take cloth bags to the store instead of getting plastic bags, and recycle anything that can be recycled.
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Illegal dumping has become an issue in Missouri. Abandoned piles of garbage can threaten the health of humans, wildlife, and the environment. These open dump sites can sadly be found throughout Missouri. They are often found at the bottom of ravines, in empty lots, in pastures, and along roadsides. If these dump sites are allowed to remain, they will grow larger and attract more dumping by others. These open dumps create a public nuisance and divert land from more productive uses. They also pose many health, safety and environmental threats. They can cause fire and explosion and they damage plant and wildlife habitats. They can contaminate streams, rivers, lakes, soil, groundwater, and drinking water wells. It’s important to report illegal dumping to make sure it doesn’t continue to happen.
Despite all of the advantages of recycling, there have been disagreements and attacks on it. Some people claim that the environmental benefits of recycling are overrated because it can lead to pollution.
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