What you might wonder is how we’ve arrived at such a sophisticated system of waste management.
The reason we have landfills is because of the absolute need. Across the globe, people generate an astounding amount of garbage, in excess of 2.6 trillion pounds. In fact, the average person generates 2.6 pounds each and every day. About half of that tonnage is organic, mostly discarded food.
Trash Trips from Consumer to Landfill
In ancient cities, wastes were thrown onto unpaved streets and roadways, where they were left to accumulate. It was not until 320 bce in Athens that the first known law forbidding this practice was established. At that time a system for waste removal began to evolve in Greece and in the Greek-dominated cities of the eastern Mediterranean. —Encyclopedia BritannicaIf you work out the math, that means that a man, with an average weight of 175 pounds, produces his weight in rubbish every quarter, or every three months. Of all of it, about 17 percent is paper, 10 percent is plastic, 5 percent is glass, and 4 percent is metal. With so much, a systematic service is necessary to keep where we live sanitary.