Why Is Environmental Stewardship Important?
America’s solid waste management professionals are protecting our environment and serving our communities.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as of 2008, the average American produced about 4.5 pounds of trash every day. That’s a lot of garbage! 250 million tons a year…And that’s only the waste from homes, businesses, etc. In fact, if you add in all the construction, industrial and other solid wastes produced in America each year, there are nearly 545 million tons produced annually.
So the average family of four is throwing out nearly 130 pounds of trash every week.
Is your family following that trend? Your family might be consciously trying to reduce, reuse or recycle, so that amount of waste will vary. Some of the waste is not in our direct control, but is produced by businesses that we frequent. But together we all produce a mountain of trash.
As a result, proper waste management is vital. Before there were regular waste management services, it was common for people to throw their garbage and human wastes out of the window and let it decompose in the street. This filth harbored rats, contaminated water supplies and helped perpetuate diseases such as the bubonic plague, cholera and typhoid fever that killed millions of people in early Europe and America.
But you don’t have to go to the history books to understand the importance of having your garbage managed. Naples, Italy, has been experiencing a garbage crisis on and off for almost 14 years. It has been overwhelmed with 10-foot piles of trash festering in the streets.
That the solid waste industry is an essential partner in protecting our community’s public health and the environment should seem obvious. However, some facts about solid waste management are probably less obvious. America’s solid waste industry is using innovation to address some of the important environmental challenges of the 21st century facing our country and planet.
The use of landfill-gas-to-energy and waste-to-energy projects and innovations in garbage collection and transport equipment are helping reduce emissions that cause climate change.
The 368,000 men and women, who work for America’s solid waste industry are “Environmentalists. Every Day.” Learn more here: