The old saying out of sight, out of mind definitely does not apply when it comes to getting rid of personal waste.
For many people, though, sending old items including electronics made with potentially harmful metals to the garbage bin is done without thought for what impact the trash will have on the environment.
Here at Gorilla Bins, we dispose of waste in an environmentally friendly manner by separating and sorting out recyclable materials like paper, cardboard, metals and wood after receiving a delivery.
And we do this for a reason.
Garbage, though unseen, can have real impacts on the environment when it is not properly disposed of.
Chemicals contaminating soil
When waste ends up at the landfill, chemicals in the trash can leech out into the soil, contaminating it. This will hurt plants, along with animals and even humans who come into contact with the soil.
Once polluted, contaminated soil can be very hard to clean, and will likely have to be dug up to clear the area.
Chemicals don’t just run from garbage into the soil. They can also reach nearby surface water, such as rivers and lakes. This will change the levels of chemicals in the water for the worse. The result? The ecosystems such as fish habitats in the water get hurt, as do any creatures that drink from the water source. Not good.
Garbage can create air pollution due to gasses and chemicals evaporating from the waste. This air pollution can occur in open-air dumps, where a lot of our waste and electronic trash goes, and through incinerators used at garbage disposal sites. The air pollution from incineration can be so bad, in fact, that it can even release toxic substances that can contribute to acid rain.
Other garbage will release methane as it wastes away, and methane is one of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming – and can also be ignited to cause an explosion.
Remember, much of our stuff these days is made with chemicals. These chemicals don’t just disappear when they end up in the dump – they will continue to exist and cause environmental problems for a long time. Getting rid of your trash in an environmentally sustainable way is one of the best things we can do for the earth!