Littering and Waste Worksheet

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A sample solutions worksheet by Keenan Hall.

With the confronting crisis of running out of landfill space, the disposal of solid waste in America will be a major environmental problem.

A. Littering, a source of individual pollution, can be cut back or eliminated if new ways can be found to control it on a community level.


Problems with littering:

1.                  On a local level.

a. littering pollutes the environment in which we live.

-creates polluted areas that are wildlife habitats.

-cigarettes are the litter most likely to be found, polluting the air and water.

-people from out of town are most likely to litter in places they don't live.

-people are more likely to trash someplace that already has litter on it rather than litter a pristine meadow.

·               Solutions on a local level

·                                                                       -Placing more receptacles for cigarette butts.

*most people litter their butts because they don't have a convenient place to put them.

-putting up more signs about the fines littering and the rewards for calling in litterers.

-raising more funds for beach and park clean ups.

2.         On a national level.

a. littering is slowing down in the U.S.  at a rate of 2% each year, but is it enough to do nothing more about it?

-the main sources of litter comes from:

*pedestrians, drivers, household garbage cans, commercial dumpsters, demolition sites, loading docks, trucks with uncovered backs.

-as the population swells, these ways of littering will become more of a problem.

-U.S. creates the largest amount of solid waste among the developed countries today.

*on average, every American produces 4.5 pounds of solid trash a day (which has actually risen from 2.7 in 1960, clearly arguing the idea that the U.S. is getting better at littering)

*The U.S. is far behind the recycling efforts made by most European countries

-these countries produce half as much per capita

*the product obsolescence marketing scheme (disposables, cosmetic upgrades to a product) used by most corporations creates a hyperconsumerism in the U.S. for items that are usually non-recyclable.

·                      Solutions on a national level.


-Placing a greater importance on the recycling developments will reduce the amount of trash that can be littered.

* rewards for recycling and making products out of recycled products and recyclable for materials.

-subsidies and grants.

* creating funds for employed recycling junk yard sweepers.

*expanding the limited range of individual recycling and free recycling utilities for every home.

3. Problems in our culture.

-the U.S. values produced by a capitalist economy has turned the U.S. into a major impact on the environment.

*we put a great importance on private profit and place concerns for the environment behind that.

*the U.S. uses the most resources out of any country in the world

-this has created tensions in many "have-not" societies in the third-world.

- we pollute and litter more than any other industrialized country as a result.

*we view nature as a renewable and inexhaustible resource, or at least we treat it like it is.

*That we are the masters of nature and can use it how we want.

-this value of many corporations leads them to search for more resources at no expense to themselves.

-If we were able to look at nature as something that we need more than it needs us, then the U.S. may start leading to way towards cleaning its act instead of coming up last.

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