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Subject: Litter, pollution and waste. rss

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Where I come from, the United States, litter is generally considered a problem. People consider it a form of pollution, something troubling, something which should be cleaned up.

Now I may be missing some facts, and I certainly haven't researched this at all but it seems to me that litter may be preferable to the most popular alternatives, which are consolidating the waste in landfills or burning it.

Burning waste contributes to global warming, and air pollution while landfills simply prevent the waste from breaking down from exposure to sun, water and microbes.

I will say that litter likely contributes to lowering property values, and I believe it also contributes to a general sense of carelessness which can lead to increased crime in an area, so litter likely should be addressed in cities.

And I will point out that toxins and hazardous materials likely benefit from concentrating them.

Essentially I believe the focus on litter distracts from the real problem which is the wasteful use of resources and energy.

With less waste, there will be less litter.
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Robert Wesley
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\bacon/
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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GROGnads wrote:
\bacon/
/cry\ ~'teary-eyed' Injun


Funny you should mention that, because it ties in directly to my topic. As it turns out the group responsible for that advertisement is the Keep America Beautiful campaign, which was created by beverage and packaging executives.

You can draw your own conclusions, but it appears to me that their focusing on waste as a consumer problem rather than a problem of industry has been very effective.
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Robert Wesley
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Purely "A"-hos~typical of them! While they had introduced Pop-bottle "returns", & even for some Beer too, with those still in many places for such. There was a "Seinfeld" episode that even covered this 'topic' in fact. For the most part, then it is children that commit the majority of that since they weren't taught about the repercussions. 'Misbehaved kind' should be made to go around and pick up trash as a LESSON, just as them Highway Trash adult folk are currently doing now.
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Billy the Hut
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recycle
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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While recycling is certainly better than landfills, it is far less preferable to producing less waste in the first place.
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Billy the Hut
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As the full expression goes:
Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle.
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kSwingrÜber
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To carry this line of thought even further, isn't the real problem overpopulation?
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Matt Riddle
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kswingruber wrote:

To carry this line of thought even further, isn't the real problem overpopulation?


I dont think so. Not in the US atleast. Our population density is really low.
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Stymie says, "No Fidgets"
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riddlen wrote:
kswingruber wrote:

To carry this line of thought even further, isn't the real problem overpopulation?


I dont think so. Not in the US atleast. Our population density is really low.


Agreed, that is NOT the problem.

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David
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Well, burning waste does have it's uses. Often the plants will use incineration process to supply nearby a town with heating energy. Also the remainders usually get a lot of resources extracted out of them and then processed into a materials that could not be produced from waste just laying around in a landfill. Furthermore many items that would pose a hazard to wildlife if left in the open are obliterated during the process and the volume reduction allows more space efficient disposal which helps to contain the unavoidable damage.

Obviously incineration is not perfect. Toxic materials should not be put into normal waste disposal but be handed off to specialized services. Also recycling is not an alternative approach but a complementary measure. Waste reduction is a noble concept but can never prevent all waste so the an actual way of dealing with it is still required.
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Amy Wiles
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Billythehut wrote:
As the full expression goes:
Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle.

This. In that order.

We follow these and also compost. Our trash is now about a bag every two weeks. It's awesome!

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