Essay on The World Is A Mess

1823 Words Dec 15th, 2014 null Page
The world is a mess. Human activities over the last several centuries have created a drastic problem. Industry, manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and human consumption all produce waste. All industrial, commercial, and residential by-products must be dealt with in some manner.
Ancient peoples were rather casual about the notion of garbage, tossing it aside wherever they went. It was not until the 4th century BCE that the Greeks drafted the first sanitation laws. Unfortunately, these laws were merely half-measures. Instead of leaving their refuse on the ground, early cities began to dump it in communal pits outside of town; sometimes even setting it ablaze. This practice remained little changed until the 20th century, when it became clear that open dumping of trash had become an environmental and public safety concern (Nathanson, 2014). From burial, to incineration, to recycling, solid waste management is a complex challenge.
Sanitary Landfills For most of human history, garbage was never a problem. However, since the dawn of the industrial age, the amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) produced has increased dramatically. In 2012, 1.3 billion tons of MSW were generated globally (Gardner, 2012). The typical American alone produces nearly a ton of refuse yearly (Denison & Ruston, 1990). According to the Law of Conservation of Mass, no matter how something is changed, its mass remains constant ("Antoine Lavoisier biography," 2014). Applying this law to solid…

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