Garbage Crisis

March 20, 1992 • Volume 2, Issue 11
Can a nation of 'waste makers' deal with the garbage glut?
By Rodman D. Griffin


The recession may have bankrupted businesses and idled factories, but it has not stopped Americans from producing record amounts of trash. Americans annually toss out enough to fill a bumper-to-bumper convoy of garbage trucks halfway to the moon. But while Americans are discarding more waste, the nation's disposal options seem to be narrowing. Faced with diminishing landfill space, increasing political opposition to landfills and incinerators and lack of markets for recycled materials, communities are at a crossroads. Many seem incapable or unwilling to plan for the future, even as waste- management costs are skyrocketing. Unless government and business leaders can work together with consumers to alleviate the crisis, experts say garbage will not only pose a hazard to the environment but also to the economy.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Trash and Recycling
Mar. 27, 1998  The Economics of Recycling
Mar. 20, 1992  Garbage Crisis
Nov. 17, 1989  America Turns to Recycling
Sep. 11, 1987  Garbage Crisis
Aug. 23, 1974  Solid Waste Technology
Mar. 12, 1969  Waste Disposal: Coming Crisis
Recycling and Solid Waste