You leave the garbage every day for the city to come to pick it up for disposal. And you are probably wondering where all the trash goes after it leaves your curbside.
The trash you put in a roll-off dumpster, garbage bin, or trash bags makes up the colossal amounts of garbage the country generates every year.
According to Statista, the US generates 11.65% of the world’s municipal solid waste.
And this municipal solid waste comprises food waste, paper & paperboard, plastics, glass, yard trimmings, metals, wood, textiles, rubber & leather, and other inorganic wastes.
In this article, you will get answers to the question, where does your trash go.
What are the effective ways of waste management?
With the astronomical rise in waste generation, effective waste management is imperative.
Some of the effective ways to minimize the garbage you produce include;
Reducing the number of items that could lead to waste is one of the effective ways to minimize trash at home. For instance, you can avoid purchasing items with plastic packaging. You can also buy enough groceries because too much of it could lead to waste.
Instead of discarding an item, you can consider cleaning it for re-use. You can also repair, refurbish, or find a way to prolong an item’s life span before tossing it away in the trash.
Recycling is another ideal and most effective method of waste management. This process converts waste material into resources for manufacturing similar or new products.
Recovering as a way of waste management involves converting waste to an energy source or recovering precious metals for repurposing.
Disposing of waste
The least preferred method of waste management is disposal, so it is the least effective method you can consider. Here, all of your trash would have found an environmental-friendly option to dispose of it.
And this is where the trash ends up in the landfill.
Where does your trash go once it leaves the trash bin?
Your trash goes through two stages before its final destination.
First, your trash hauler will take the garbage to a transfer facility. This station consolidates trash from different locations, compacts them, and moves them to material recovery facilities.
The material recovery facility or MRF sorts out the trash to recover practical or somewhat recyclable garbage.
From this point, your trash could end up in;
If your debris is recyclable, it ends up in the recycling plant. Some recyclable garbage includes plastics, paper, wood, metal, glass, textiles, and much more.
How much waste goes to the recycling plant?
Data shows that 32.1% of the MSW ends up in the recycling plant.
Your garbage is repurposed into new manufacturing materials at the recycling plant and minimizes natural resources’ exploitation.
According to EPA, paper & paperboard makes up a large percentage of recyclable MSW at 66.54%, as you can see below.
Some of your waste ends up in the composting facility, where the composters turn it into valuable compost.
The food waste, agricultural products, and yard debris often end up in the composting facility.
According to recent research, yard trimmings take up the most significant percentage of MSW in the composting plant.
Waste to energy plant
Another place that your waste goes is the waste to energy or combustion plant.
The garbage goes through an incinerator at this facility, combusted to produce valuable energy.
Some municipal solid waste that ends here includes metals, food waste, glass, plastics, rubber and textiles, wood, yard trimmings, leather, paper, and paperboard.
The landfill is another destination where your garbage could go. The garbage here decomposes slowly, making it less effective in waste disposal.