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  • 1. Part A Project 1 World Geography 2 Mariyah Jahangiri Student ID: B62232671
  • 2. Municipal solid waste, commonly known as garbage - consists of everyday durable and disposable items we use and then trash such as: plastic packaging, yard clippings, clothing, food, paper, books, and appliances. Due to an increasing population growth and industrialization, about 1.3 billion tons of municipal solid waste is produced annually throughout the world. The United States is the leading producer of solid waste, at about 621,000 tons per day, which means the average American produces about 4.3 pounds of waste every day. Total Percentages of Municipal Solid Waste Produced Each Year in the U.S. Pie Chart by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • 3. There are many negative impacts of the disposal of waste on the environment. When food is thrown away and breaks down in a landfill, it produces methane gas with the help of other materials in the landfill. Methane contributes to greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere which increases global warming. For example, in Australia, landfills contribute to about 2% of greenhouse gas emissions. Other waste, such as batteries and paints, can be very dangerous to the environment. This waste is called toxic waste, and it often produces carcinogens which can cause cancer in humans if they come in contact with this substance. Toxic waste can spread quite easily and can contaminate lakes, rivers, and the atmosphere. Another negative effect of waste on the environment is when plastic products need to be incinerated to create more landfill area. Incinerating plastic can produce dangerous chemicals such as dioxins when they are burnt, and this can lead damage to humans and the environment if the toxic chemicals are spread by air pollution. Landfills are also being used up rapidly, and people are continuing to use products and throw them away at an alarming rate. As these products go to waste, so does the energy used to manufacture these products.
  • 4. Location makes a huge difference on a person’s habits of buying and disposing products. I currently live in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which has a great effect on my impact on the environment. Saudis have not yet started any major recycling companies, and that is why I am not able to recycle products as easily and as much as I would like. 3 out of 8 of the people I surveyed also live in Riyadh, and they face the same dilemma. We have to go out of our way to take recyclable products to the city hospital, where they have placed small bins for the use of hospital workers and local citizens. Another 2 of the 8 surveyed people live in Cairo, Egypt, which also does not have many recycling opportunities.
  • 5. For this project, I surveyed 8 different people from around the world about their consumer and waste disposal habits in order to find out their environmental impact on the world. The most common reason the surveyed people bought food products is because of the easiness of buying and using the food product. For example, one of the surveyed people stated that she buys packaged frozen chicken that is found in general grocery shops, because this is more easily accessible to her than going directly to the meat shop which is farther away from her house. Although the frozen chicken is more easy to buy, the meat shop chicken has a lot less packaging. 2 of the 8 people I interviewed were college students living in dorms and they explained that fast food, which is often highly packaged, is the easiest way to get food in a hurry. These college students also use plastic disposable bottles when walking around on campus, because plastic bottles can be easily bought on the campus.
  • 6. All 8 of the people I surveyed stated that they consider buying alternatives to disposable products if they are available. For example, one of the people surveyed said that he tries to avoid disposable products as much as he can and prefers durable products such as washable dishes. 2 of the 8 people also compost many disposable products to reduce waste. 7 out of the 8 people I surveyed also said that they either gives their clothes to charity, sell them, or pass them on to relatives when they no longer are in need of those clothes. Only one person said that he dumps his clothes that are no longer needed in the trash.
  • 7. 5 out of 8 of the people I surveyed said that they are aware of recycling opportunities, and the other 3 said that not many recycling opportunities existed in their area. 3 out of these 5 people recycle aluminum, glass, paper, and plastic. 2 other people out of the 5 people said that they try to recycle paper and plastic whenever they get the opportunity to do so, but not necessarily all the time. 2 out of the 3 people who did not recycle claimed that they did not do so because they were not any local recycling opportunities, and only one person said that he was aware of recycling opportunities yet still did not recycle any items. Most of the 8 people seemed very effected by their locations in terms of purchasing trends and waste disposal. The people who did not recycle didn’t have many local recycling opportunities. 6 of the 8 people also bought different styles of clothes based on the newest local fashion and trends, and only 2 of the 8 people bought clothes only if needed.
  • 8. As shown by the survey, many people try to make life easier by purchasing packaged products in general grocery stores rather than less packaged products in local stores, by using disposable plastic water bottles, by regularly buying fast food, and many other examples. Disposable products such as papers and plastics which can be easily reused and recycled are often thrown away. Not many people are aware of the consequences of such amounts of waste on the environment. As the world population grows, the amount of waste produced in also increasing. If we do not educate people about waste and recycling, the environment could be seriously damaged, which in the end will result to affect us humans.
  • 9. In order to reduce waste, people should start reusing and recycling products, and reducing the use of those products that lead to the production of waste. Instead of using disposable products, people should try to use durable products, such as reusing a durable water bottle rather than use and throw away multiple plastic disposable bottles every day. Not only is the environment being hurt, but the energy being used to create these products is also going to waste. For example, according to the EPA, every ton of mixed paper recycled can save the energy equivalent of 165 gallons of gasoline. In places where there are not many local recycling opportunities, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, opportunities should be created so that people can have the option of easily recycling products instead of throwing them away as garbage. Also, different people and government organizations should start educating people more about this serious issue so that us citizens of the world can make more educated decisions on how to stay environmentally friendly.