I found one! For those who have been following my Footprints series and my blog you’ll know that top on my list of locations was a landfill. Living in Ontario, getting into a landfill was proving difficult with gates, fences, personnel, etc and I was beginning to lose hope. Last month I was travelling around the island of Montserrat with a private guide and we were heading to Jack Hill to see a certain point of view of the simmering volcano located there. As we neared the site, I noticed a hand written sign that said “landfill” and immediately asked to be taken there instead. The guide looked at me like I had two heads but was obliging and we took the little road to the landfill. I was thrilled to see that it was easily accessible and made a mental note on how to get back there when the lighting was more suitable.
What I didn’t count on was that my model (my daughter) only gave me about 60 seconds of shooting time because she couldn’t stand the flies buzzing around her. Ideally I would have loved more time to play with different poses and angles but I have to admit the flies were pretty bad so I settled on this photograph of my grumpy daughter overlooking the expansive landfill.
Which brings me to the point of it all – landfills.
Given that I live in Canada I will be focusing on it’s statistics when it comes to the garbage we create. Approximately 67% of Canada’s garbage ends up in a landfill. That equates to a 25% production of methane emissions, contaminated groundwater and having over 10,000 landfills with still the need for more. But who wants a landfill in their backyard? I certainly don’t. So what do we do? You’ve heard it a million times before – REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE.
Here are just a few statistics I will throw at you –
1. It takes 80 years for paper to breakdown.
2. A littered aluminum can takes 500 years to disintegrate.
3. Plastic takes 1 million years to break down.
If we recycle here are some other statistics –
1. 60 days is how quickly an aluminum can be turned from recycled garbage into a new can and back on the grocer’s shelf.
2. Plastics can be recycled into a fibre that creates new bottles, buckets, carpets and even fleece jackets.
3. Recycled paper is hydro-pulped into new paper products such as newspapers, magazines, books or office paper.
Minimizing your consumption of materials and thus contribution to landfills is probably the most effective way to reduce the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills. Happy recycling everyone!