Americans and Garbage Essay

1197 Words 5 Pages
Garbage is defined as anything worthless, useless, or discarded. Unfortunately, Americans are professionals at producing trash. In fact, the average American household throws out four and a half pounds of trash each day, and collectively we produce 243 million tons of trash within a year (Smith). The problem of trash production has been around for ages, but it has continued to be ignored by the general population.
Producing exceeding amounts of trash does not bother the majority of Americans, or they are unaware of the problem, otherwise the mind-blowing statistics would not exist. A major reason people produce large quantities of trash is out of pure laziness. For example, my roommate threw out a toaster because she had received a new
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Furthermore, certain cities have taken it a step further by having the trash police fine those who do not participate in the recycling (Brandon). The New York City Department of Sanitation has the right to conduct inspections in order to ensure that one is complying with all of the rules and regulations. The first violation is twenty-five dollars, and after four violations in a six-month period, one could be charged up to six hundred dollars (NYC). However, like any set of rules and regulations, people will find loopholes in order to avoid fines. A writer pointed out that one could dump their neighbor’s recycling into their own to avoid any fines (Smith).
Even though there are downfalls to government regulated trash and recycling pick-up, there must be a change because Americans are yielding unnecessary amounts of garbage. People should not continue to generate exceeding amounts of trash because room for landfills is becoming scarce, it is bad for the environment, and many cities and towns have recycling available. Before 1976, household garbage was placed in dumps, and there were no rules on how the trash was to be stored. This led to the creation of enormous amounts of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas (Palmer). In 1976, Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which required all dumps to have liners and a piping system that would help reduce the number of harmful gases and chemicals being released into the environment. With the new regulations,

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