Americans produce an enormous amount of waste, and landfills are filling up. Annually, the average American throws away about 1,000 pounds of garbage – and that’s excluding cast-off appliances. As a whole, Americans generate about 250 million tons of trash every year.
Not only are we running out of places to put all this junk and garbage, but huge landfills have detrimental effects on the environment both above and below the ground, including:
Greenhouse-gas pollution – Landfills are probably contributing to the climate-change phenomenon owing to the gasses produced and released. For example, as food scraps and other waste materials break down, methane gas is released into the atmosphere. Methane emissions from landfills account for 12% of total global methane emissions.
Ground-water pollution – Toxic wast from landfills – and appliances are major culprits here – leaches into the soil and into ground water, eventually reaching plants, animals, and humans. Cast-off electronics products release lead, cadmium, and mercury, which are serious threats to water quality.
With the toxins escaping into the air and leaching into the soil at landfill sites, there is an accompanying loss of 30 to 300 species in the area. There are also species changes with some species replaced by others that feed on refuse, including rats. There are also similar vegetation changes with some species being replaced by less desirable ones.
It’s easy to see, then, why appliance recycling (Seattle) is a good thing to do.
We have a huge commitment to being eco friendly and keeping recyclable items out of the landfills. We load our trailers with garbage at the very back, than recyclables and donateable items towards the backdoor. This enables us to stop at the metal recycling and donation centers first before we dump.
To make matters worse, certain appliances are especially bad for the environment and the people who live in it. For example……
Refrigerators and freezers manufactured before 1995 usually contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that, when released into the atmosphere, contribute to ozone-layer depletion and climate change.
Many window AC units contain hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), which has a similar deleterious effect when released into the environment.
The insulating foam used in refrigerators and freezers manufactured before 2005 contains ODS, which also contributes to ozone depletion and climate change.
Many household appliances also contain components that use hazardous oils, PCBs, and mercury in switches and relays.
You can also help out with recycling by having items like plastics, clothes, and metal already boxed and bagged up in a certain area.
A good place to recycle your televisions that is right around the corner is Goodwill. If they can't sell them they will send them off to get taken apart and reused.
Places where we go to Recycle
Metro Metals Northwest Inc. (Various Metals)
2202 E. River St. Tacoma, 98421
Goodwill (Furniture, Clothes, Televisions)
3121 S. 38th St. Tacoma, 98409
Tacoma - Landfill Recycling Center (Yardwaste, Cardboard, Plastics)
3110 S. Mullen St. Tacoma, 98409