News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle
August 13, 2020
Where It All Goes
Years ago I decided that I could save money by taking my trash to the KM Transfer Station. I saw all the recycle for glass, plastic, cardboard, etc. Although I was familiar with recycling, I wondered where all the rest of the trash went to. As a boy I was able to go to landfills and I was amazed at the tons of refuse that people throw away. What amazed me more was that there were people at the dump who picked through the trash looking for some kind of treasure to them. There is a saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This does not occur at the transfer station here, but I am always amazed at the things people throw away that are still useful. The question that came to me was where all the rest of the trash and garbage goes.
According to a report by World Bank, the world will generate approximately 2.6 trillion pounds of garbage this year. That is the equivalent to the weight of about 7,000 of New York City’s Empire State Building. The odd questions are what kind of trash is it and where does it all go? The response is that under half of it comes from organic waste, mainly from food, and most of it goes into landfills. The World Bank report also suggested that the typical person in a developed country creates about 2.6 pounds of garbage a day. The average American man weighing 175 pounds would yield his weight in trash every three months.
Although the United States banned the dumping of trash in the ocean, there are still some countries that dump refuse in the ocean. There is a gargantuan area of rubbish floating in the Pacific Ocean that is jam-packed with far more rubbish than previously thought. This has intensified the unease that the world’s oceans are being progressively choked by trillions of pieces of plastic. This sprawling patch of waste spans 617,763 square miles. This is more than twice the size of France. It contains at least 79,000 tons of plastic. This mass of waste is many times larger than previous estimates. It will be quite a challenge to a team that will attempt to clean up the vast swath of the Pacific that has been named the Great Pacific garbage patch.
Surveys taken over two years conducted by boat and air found that pollution in the Pacific is increasing exponentially and is almost exclusively plastic. Micro plastics measuring less than 0.2 of an inch make up the bulk of the debris. It is estimated that over 200,000 tons of plastic is floating in this garbage patch. It is kept in an uneven shape by the churning ocean currents. At this present rate it has been estimated that by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. This is a good enough reason to recycle if the question has been answered where it all goes.
The Wahkiakum Lions Club is having their frozen berry sale again. These are locally grown berries quick frozen in ten pound containers. Orders must be in no later than August 19. You will be able to pick up your berries on August 29 at 10 a.m. at the Wahkiakum High School parking lot, Skamokawa Grange parking lot, or the Rosburg Store parking lot. Strawberries are $26 per container; raspberries are $32; marionberries are $25; blackberries are $22 and blueberries are $27. Make checks payable to Wahkiakum Lions Club. Send checks to Box 214, Skamokawa, WA. 98647. For more information, call 360-849-4003 or 360-795-3337.