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Question:
How long do you think it will be before we start living in our own trash?



Replies:
I think what you have in mind is that trash will be piled up so deep we would have to wade around in it in the streets. That will not happen because people will not tolerate it. I am reminded of a few stories from New York City, when the garbage haulers went on strike for higher pay the trash actually did pile up pretty deep in the streets until the city gave them what they wanted. Another time, a big barge was loaded with garbage and taken out to sea. It is no longer legal to dump trash in the ocean, so the barge had to find a country willing to accept the garbage for a small fee, but no one would take it so the barge had to take all the trash back to New York. Stories like these help bring the problem of solid-waste disposal to the public's attention: we can no longer find places to dump trash as easily as we once did. So, new ideas are coming along to help solve the problem. Some producers are using less packaging material, some states are adopting bottle return bills, and some cities are recycling trash into new goods. One way to use recycled paper and plastic is to insulate homes with it. Maybe if more people insulated their homes with recycled plastics we will be "living in our trash" sooner than you think.

Don Libby



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