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Garbage is better termed waste, which is unwanted material, the remains of usable material that is no longer desired. There are several different types of waste that must be managed as such, otherwise they would pose a significant health problem. They are: municipal solid waste, construction/demolition waste, institutional waste, commercial waste, industrial waste, medical waste, hazardous waste, radioactive waste, electronic waste, and biodegradable waste.
I will focus on the first one, which is municipal solid waste, which is the stuff we have coming out of our households on trash day. Waste of this type can range from leftover food scraps to candy wrappers, to bottles, to plastic milk jugs. This type of waste is collected by our sanitation department and hauled to a municipal land fill. At the land fill, the trash is dumped from the truck, pulverized into smaller pieces, then finally covered with layers of earth. Breathing pipes are installed in the land fill to allow the methane gas being produced to either escape or be collected, where it can be used as an energy source. Some of this trash is separated into plastics, glass, and cans, which may all be recycled and help cut back on loading the environment up with materials that take a long time to biodegrade.
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