Where Does All the Garbage Go?
Disposing of garbage is an ever growing problem as populations increase. In country districts garbage is often taken outside a small town or village and dumped on a selected area of waste ground or in a disused quarry. What will burn is set alight. A safer and much more efficient way of disposing of garbage is by incineration. It is put into huge furnaces, called incinerators, and burnt at a very high temperature. Everything is reduced to ashes, except metals which are collected and may be used again.
In low-lying areas garbage is sometimes used to build up the land to a higher level. It is spread out in even layers by heavy machinery, pressed down, and covered with a layer of soil. This process is repeated until thick garbage and soil sandwich has been made. It is then covered with a final layer of soil and left to rot down. The land can later be used for farming.
In some cities newspapers and rags are collected separately from the rest of the rubbish. These can be pulped to make more paper. In other places, waste food is collected from hotels and restaurants, cooked and then fed to pigs. There is a growing tendency to find new ways of recycling raw materials such as plastics, glass and metal, so that they may be used again.
In urban areas, garbage of all kinds is collected and treated as municipal solid waste; garbage that is discarded in ways that cause it to end up in the environment, rather than in facilities designed to receive garbage, is considered litter. Litter is a form of garbage, and municipal solid waste that is improperly disposed of, and which therefore enters the environment, is treated as litter. Notably, however, only a small fraction of garbage that is generated becomes litter, with the vast majority being disposed of in ways intended to secure it from entering the environment.