The thought of our oceans being filled with garbage is a very scary thought, yet a very real possibility. I remember the incident that happened many years ago with the barge on a routine assignment, full of garbage, on its way to a southern landfill and was left out at sea for six months tooling around looking for any port in their “storm”. This incident caused a huge push for more recycling but at a cost. Recycling costs cities money. But if they are not recycling then where does all that garbage go? Into a landfill or shipped off to be incinerated. Either way, the environment is not safe and neither are the people in it. Landfills must be managed in order to prevent the creation of methane gases and the contamination of groundwater. Incinerators release particulates and gases into the air that can cause deadly consequences if breathed and the ashes subsequently go to a landfill and contribute to the ground water contamination.
Regardless of all of the programs created for recycling and reusing the fact is that there are just not enough people finding value in these practices. Garbage such as plastic is all over our oceans already. If we do not take more action in reducing, recycling and reusing, there are going to be dire consequences. Not only can we anticipate that our land will be even more covered with the leftover items that we no longer use or need but that our oceans will also be even more polluted as more and more garbage is shipped off without a place to land.
To read more about the 1987garbage barge dilemma or the problems and solutions of landfills please check out the following websites: