I think I would start at the basics today and ask, “Where does my trash go after it’s put on my curbside?”.
First things first, if you don’t have a “curby” you can look up your address here and get recycle, trash and brush pick up for free. Just this week I ordered another recycling toter because we were filling ours up too quickly – again, for free! I also recently found out that the stickers on the underside of my toter are outdated and every toter accepts normal plastic! I am so happy, and so glad this was changed because I was having a hard time wrapping my brain around why plastics were excluded. (If you are wanting to recycle your plastic grocery bags, just click here and put in your zip code. So helpfuL!)
Now that you definitely have a curby, and you have put it out on your specified day – what happens?
The garbage truck picks them up, dumps them in it’s back end and drives away, off to the dump – right? Wrong. Davidson county doesn’t have a dump/landfill. Once your garbage truck is full, it goes through a process where it’s delivered to BFI Middle Point Landfill in Rutherford county. I talked to the environmental guy in charge, Mike, about what happens next.
There is no sorting process once it gets to BFI. So if you put a plastic bottle or tuna can or what have you, in your trash, it’s going in the ground. Mike said they do sort for hazardous materials, like paint cans for example, to protect the ground as much as they can. But as I talked about in my previous post, plastic can’t decompose – it just breaks down to teensy weensy plastics that look like goop. How ’bout NO! Gross.
From there it is put into the giant hole in the ground and covered. That’s it. It just sits there, incubating. We should do better, and we can do better – with The Bottle Bill! 🙂
Hope you found this as interesting as I did. I think it’s so important to realize that no one can help you out, but yourself. No matter if you believe in global warming or want to do the same thing you’ve always done because that how it’s always been done – you’re still living on this planet. I’m not asking you to start making your own clothes or to spend some personal time with a tree – I’m asking you to take a minute and recognize that recycling is a necessity to remain on this planet like we always have. We can’t keep putting plastics and other chemicals into the ground and think everything is fine.
In closing, please, please, please – just throw that beer glass or soda can or water bottle into a different bin and I’ll be happy and love you forever.