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Benjamin St John

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What happens when we create too much trash?

As a previous resident of the state of Virginia, one of the biggest trash importers in the United States, I was struck by this video. Virginia brings in tons of New York and New Jersey trash by barge on a consistent basis. We even had landfills named "Mount Trashmore" when I was growing up that were covered in sod and then made into public parks.

So what will happen as our population continues to explode and our consumption and therefore generation of trash rises exponentially with it?

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    Nov 19 2013: When we create too much trash, animals and plants die. We are extremely dirty, careless creatures who push our problems onto other life forms. Humans focusing on humans is how this mess came about. Maybe humans focusing on plants and animals would be less dirty.
  • Nov 18 2013: The problem isn't "too much trash". The problem is "too little initiative to make some money off that 'trash'". Trash is just what you call materials you haven't yet figured out how to economically salvage. That's how we need to think of all "trash"--economically deferred materials. If it's matter, there is some way to use it. Somebody just has to figure out how to make it cost-effective.
  • Nov 18 2013: Ah, I live in Virginia Beach, home of Mt. Trashmore.

    I think we are struggling with this question now. Personally, I think the cost of generating the trash needs to be raised to reflect the short-term price of disposing of it and the long-term effect of minimizing its impact on nature.

    We are really not creating anything, just changing the form of existing materials into useful things that do not decompose very effectively and industrial waste. We are also releasing the energy from a lot of fossil fuels in order to accomplish the transformation and deliver the goods to the consumer.
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    Nov 18 2013: I think more and more people will be needed for the sanitary work meanwhile more and more people will have to pay a fine for overproducing the trash. If not, there will be a plague taking away lots of people's lives, which force people not to produce unnecessary trash and to develop new technologies of collecting or processing trash more efficiently.