Term Paper: Hidden Life of Garbage

Pages: 3 (1126 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Transportation - Environmental Issues  ·  Buy This Paper

Los Angeles is a city not only of superstars but also of garbage. Roger's (2002) book, Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage, makes me see garbage, if not my environment in a different light. In fact, it makes me see my university and the cafes that I eat in, as well as other institutions that I loiter in as smaller landfills within the larger landfill of the State itself.

Land fills are messy and diverse burden of waste material that are regularly tossed in the earth whilst operating vehicles smooth it over and, from day-to-day, place foam covers on it in order to prevent toxic gas from emanating in the air and in order to provide it with something of an aesthetic appearance. You look at LA -- it seems to have an aesthetic appearance. You go through my university and the other buildings and their externals, on the whole, seem beautiful. They are architecturally impressive, orderly, contemporary, and technologically run. But they remind me of the modern landfill. Underneath that smooth surface is garbage that is bristling with life. And the garbage is there, only partially concealed from the observer's perspective. We see it in passing, yet are unaware of its presence. The aesthetic look only acts as foam cover over its surface.

Go into the classroom, for instance look at all those tossed cans, wrappers, and papers. That is garbage. Enter the cafeterias: the amount of food thrown out per day and paper plates as well as packaging. That's just a bit of the garbage that emanates from there. The cartons and tossed out pens, as well as forsaken books and discarded dorm furniture. And rejected sweaters. As well as torn sneakers, and disused computers. This is just a particle of the garbage that Rogers (2002) tells us constitutes 30% of the garbage that as American nation we regularly produce in the world.

The average American, according to Rogers (2002), tosses 4.5 pounds of garbage daily which culminates in approximately 1,600 pounds per year.

Garbage is destructive. Garbage not only destructs us. It harms creatures that we share our existence with, both animate and inanimate. It throttles the plant life and impedes their growth whilst stagnating the creatures of the sea and preventing them from flourishing. The Pacific Ocean, for instance, is six times more abundant with plastic waste than it is with zooplankton (Rogers, 2002). Plastic, in fact, impacts the marine system by as much as 90-95% in some areas extending the damage to marine life by killing and destructing much of the marine ecosystem.

The problem is that whilst we are becoming prolific garbage-tosses (and increasing in that prolificacy), we are fading in our zeal of recycling and garbage is becoming a concealed aspect of our environment; they're but hidden under the surface or glossed over so that it appears part of contemporary life.

That this is so is a result of some environmental laws that help corporations conceal their garbage as well as the alignment of marketing and manufacturing forces, combined with objectives of garbage companies such as Waste Management and Browning Ferris that do the same.

Walking through a company, I see the television computers, screens, iPods, cell phones that they are most likely to toss out over the span of the coming year. And we are used to this. We no longer consider it garbage.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Hidden Life of Garbage.  (2012, February 16).  Retrieved June 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/hidden-life-garbage/519715

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"Hidden Life of Garbage."  16 February 2012.  Web.  20 June 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/hidden-life-garbage/519715>.

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"Hidden Life of Garbage."  Essaytown.com.  February 16, 2012.  Accessed June 20, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/hidden-life-garbage/519715.