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Take a 360 degree stroll through a ‘Trash Mountain’

PBS has featured an amazing video that allows the viewer to take a 360 degree virtual tour of “Trash Mountain.” This 70-acre landfill is located outside of New Delhi, India, and contains 10 million tons of garbage. It now towers over the city, in both height and as a minatory reminder of the impact our activities have on the future of the planet. 

When you pull your garbage can to the curb on garbage day, do you give much thought to what happens to it once it’s collected? Many take for granted the fact that their garbage “magically” disappears, but the disappearance is only an act.

Most garbage does not disappear; instead it is simply relocated to a landfill, a recycling center or perhaps makes its way down a storm drain and into a nearby body of water. Each American generates an average of 4.5 pounds of garbage daily. 

Landfills are technically supposed to keep garbage dry and are lined to prevent toxins from contaminating nearby soil and groundwater. However, the landfill liners are virtually guaranteed to degrade, tear or crack eventually. Not surprisingly, women who live within 2 miles of a hazardous waste landfill are 33 percent more likely to have children with serious birth defects. 

It’s going to take global efforts to change the way trash is being generated and disposed of, but every individual can play a part in that change. You can do your part by reducing your plastic consumption and generation of waste, which will benefit your health as well as the environment. 

There are other steps you can take as well. Compost your food scraps and yard waste, choose reusable items over single use, and support efforts to manage waste in your community. Taking control of your environmental footprint can be an important step towards taking control of your health.
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