Garbage Crisis: Unraveling Causes, Effects, and Solutions

Thesis: The problem on garbage is found in human activity – such as man’s efforts to control nature, overconsumption of manufactured goods, and growing population. In short, man has developed a lifestyle that is propped up by environmental destruction living for short-term goals at the expense of long-term sustainability.

Audience:  This paper is directed to all concerned individuals and institutions and calls for an awareness and action on this problem.

Credibility: The paper cites facts that will convince readers that this issue needs to be addressed the soonest.

In considering the implications and issues inherent in the situation of pollution and garbage, one needs to understand how to properly address the problem. In most discussions and media reports, the word that usually follows environmental is “problem.” One tends to associate the environment with bad news, disasters one would rather ignore, hopeless situations that make one feel powerless. Sometimes people hope that these problems will not touch their lives. But these are not self-contained problems that can be disassociated from the larger system of interrelationships or from cause and effect.

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MP -  Causes

  1. Waste and affluence seem to go hand in hand. The better off we are as a nation, the more secure our natural resources, the more we waste. “Throw away” seems to be a measure of prosperity. Residential wastes make up one-third to one-half of the total waste stream; the rest is produced in manufacturing and industrial processes that provide us with the goods we buy and the services we demand.
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    If this waste is added in, there will be tons and tons of garbage every year (The Greenhouse Effect).

  2. There may be several businesses around a community that indulge in products requiring packaging. For example, near a village there may be a pizza shop, a pastry nook and several other small-scale industries that utilize packaging. Packaging is a billion-a-year industry in many countries employing thousands of people. Packaging is used to keep a product fresh, pure, free from contamination and breakage (Martinson, Charles). However, if packaging is a measure of a consumer society, it also characterizes the many problems that arise from our consumer habits. The more layers there are of different materials, all combined for maximum protection, the more difficult it is to recycle the package. As a result, the package is disposed of in landfill or is incinerated.  There is also the problem of the materials themselves. Some foam contains CFC plastics  that release toxic chemicals when burned and they don’t break down in landfill sites. (Martinson, Charles).
  3. On average, each Canadian produces 1.8 to 2 kg of household garbage every day, or from two-thirds to a tonne per person per year. Approximately one-third of the household garbage produced is composed of paper; another third is organic waste (food scraps and yard refuse); and the final third is glass, metal, plastic, textiles and wood. However, residential waste makes up just one-third to one-half of the total waste stream; the rest is produced in manufacturing and industrial processes that provide us with the goods we buy and the services we demand. If this waste is added in, Canadians produce 35 to 40 million tonnes of solid garbage every year.

MP   Effects:

  1. Taxpayers, therefore, spend billions a year on waste management. Most of the garbage produced are sent to landfill sites; a small portion is incinerated. Both of these options are not really waste disposal, but rather volume-reduction techniques. When garbage is incinerated, part is left in the form of ash. When garbage is dumped in landfill sites, it is basically being stored and reduced by compaction, shredding or decomposition. Both landfill and incineration have environmental price tags.
  2. One of the main problems with incineration is that, if the incinerator is not highly efficient, the emissions from the burning process and the resulting ashes may pose risks to human health and to the environment. Because in most cases, little is known about the exact composition of each load of garbage; there is no control over what gets burned. Toxic and hazardous materials may be going up the stack and into the air. The resulting ash may also contain toxins or hazardous substances that are transported to landfill sites (Dadd  1984).
  3. Although new landfill sites are much more efficient at containing and controlling wastes, many older sites—still in use—allow toxins and poisons to leach out. When rainwater lands on an uncapped and undrained site, it filters through the garbage, picking up chemicals and either leaches down to the groundwater  or becomes surface runoff. Thus, dangerous substances may leach out of ordinary garbage dumps in liquid form or escape into the atmosphere as gases.

MP # 3 Solution:

  1. Many food wastes can be “recycled” through composting. The nutrient-rich, decomposed material can be used to improve the soil in the yard or garden. Turning your compost heap (exposing the buried material to the air) will speed up the composting process and keep the heap from giving off odors. The heap should be turned every 1 to 3 weeks.
  2. Don’t buy overpackaged products. You can go even further by letting store managers and manufacturers know why you are refusing overpackaged goods. If enough people use their power as consumers to reject overpackaging, the message will get through the manufacturers.
  3. Is a safer product available? Is the company concerned about the   environmental effects of the product? Try to buy your cleaning products at a health food store or ask the store manager at your grocery store to stock non-toxic products. (Global Warming Facts and our Future).


Finding ways to deal with waste products without polluting our air and water sources would be a huge step toward securing water supplies for the future. The environmental policies and programs need to be defined, created, and implemented through national law and budget. Regulations need to be enforced and incentives provided which will support stated goals. (Thornton, James, 1993).

Restate Thesis: 

The environment needs to be taken card of in order to heal and cleanse the world. The action begins with the garbage in one’s community and how it can be properly disposed so that the earth will once again be a safe haven for humanity in the years to come.

Call for Action:

One of the more viable solutions is to reduce what one throws out by reducing what he takes home on his shopping trips. This is because garbage is a consumer issue. A good way to start is to consider the implications of a purchase before buying a product. One can also try to find out what is being done in his own community by phoning the Public Works Department. Is there a curbside recycling program?

If not, are there recycling bins or depots where people can take their recyclables?  If there is no recycling, community leaders can write letters to the mayor and to the other local officials in support of setting up a program. They can send a copy of the letter to the newspaper and find out if there are any environment groups trying to set up a recycling system in the community. (Don’t Trash Wildlife).

Memorable Statement

We aim to take away some of the shock, any by pointing towards the bigger picture (basically the vast improvement in the way of life will be lived and shared) we expect to be able to help minds and spirits stay positive and clean.  When we are serious about fixing the environment, the will to take the profit out of polluting and out of consuming finite resources will be found. Then the cost of environmental damage will start being fully factored into public decision making and the cost of lost resources or pollution will be reflected in the price of goods.


  1. Dadd, Debra Lynn. “Non-Toxic and Natural: How to Avoid Dangerous Everyday Products and Buy or Make Safe Ones.” New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1984.
  2. “Don’t Trash Wildlife.” The Humane Society of the United States. Retrieved Jan. 26, 2007 at:
  3. “Global Warming Facts and our Future”. 2004.  Retrieved Jan. 26, 2007 at: <>
  4. Martinson, Charles. “Air Pollution Control in the flexographic printing industry.” Retrieved Jan. 26, 2007 at:
  5.  “The Greenhouse Effect”  2004.  Retrieved Jan. 26, 2007 at: <>
  6. Thornton, James. “Technology and Freedom,” New American July 12, 1993. Norway St. Boston, MA 02115. Source:
Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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Garbage Crisis: Unraveling Causes, Effects, and Solutions. (2017, Mar 25). Retrieved from

Garbage Crisis: Unraveling Causes, Effects, and Solutions essay
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