Invasive Humans Use Invasive Non-Recyclable Waste! Landfills Are Getting Full!! Are We Wasting Ourselves To Extinction? Yes!

By Donald A. Collins | 30 October 2022
Church and State

(Photo: wastebusters / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Limits seldom considered by world leaders about the invasive impact of our growing human numbers are dangerously magnified by expanding amounts of waste created by all of us worldwide.

The highest levels of waste of course come from developed countries and there exists a wide disparity about the recyclability of different kinds of waste.

The Wikipedia list of the various products to be recycled can be found in this attached article.

For instance, rubber tires are particularly difficult while over half of US newsprint is getting recycled.

Wikipedia note on rubber tires:

Tire recycling, or rubber recycling, is the process of recycling rubbish tires that are no longer suitable for use on vehicles due to wear or irreparable damage. These tires are a challenging source of waste, due to the large volume produced, the durability of the tires, and the components in the tire that are ecologically problematic.

Because tires are highly durable and non-biodegradable, they can consume valued space in landfills. If waste tires are improperly managed they may cause rubber pollution. In 1990, it was estimated that over 1 billion scrap tires were in stockpiles in the United States. As of 2015, only 67 million tires remain in stockpiles. From 1994 to 2010, the European Union increased the amount of tires recycled from 25% of annual discards to nearly 95%, with roughly half of the end-of-life tires used for energy, mostly in cement manufacturing.

Pyrolysis and devulcanization could facilitate recycling. Aside from use as fuel, the main end use for tires remains ground crumb rubber. In 2017, 13% of U.S. tires removed from their primary use were sold in the used tire market. Of the tires that were scrapped, 43% were burnt as tire-derived fuel, with cement manufacturing the largest user, another 25% were used to make ground rubber, 8% were used in civil engineering projects, 17% were disposed of in landfills and 8% had other uses. Globally, tire graveyards are a common environmental hazard, with significant pollutants and other challenges. For example, the Sulaibiya tire graveyard in Kuwait has had repeat highly toxic fires.

Wikipedia tells the more positive story on newsprint:

Paper and newsprint can be recycled by reducing it to pulp and combining it with pulp from newly harvested wood. As the recycling process causes the paper fibres to break down, each time paper is recycled its quality decreases. This means that either a higher percentage of new fibers must be added, or the paper down-cycled into lower quality products. Any writing or coloration of the paper must first be removed by deinking, which also removes fillers, clays, and fiber fragments.

Almost all paper can be recycled today, but some types are harder to recycle than others. Papers coated with plastic or aluminum foil, and papers that are waxed, pasted, or gummed are usually not recycled because the process is too expensive.

Sometimes recyclers ask for the removal of the glossy paper inserts from newspapers because they are a different type of paper. Glossy inserts have a heavy clay coating that some paper mills cannot accept. Most of the clay is removed from the recycled pulp as sludge, which must be disposed of. If the coated paper is 20% by weight clay, then each ton of glossy paper produces more than 200 kg of sludge and less than 800 kg of fiber.

The price of recycled paper has varied greatly over the last 30 or so years. The German price of €100/£49 per ton was typical for the year 2003 and it steadily rose over the years. By the September 2008 saw the American price of $235 per ton, which had fallen to just $120 per ton, and in the January 2009, the UK’s fell six weeks from about £70.00 per ton, to only £10.00 per ton. The slump was probably due to the economic down turn in East Asia leading to market for waste paper drying up in China. 2010 averaged at $120.32 over the start of the year, but saw a rapid rise global prices in May 2010, with the June 2010 resting $217.11 per ton in the USA as China’s paper market began to reopen!

Mexico, America, the EU, Russia and Japan all recycle paper en masse and there are many state run and private schemes running in those countries. In 2004 the paper recycling rate in Europe was 54.6% or 45.5 million short tons (41.3 Mt). The recycling rate in Europe reached 64.5%3 in 2007, which confirms that the industry is on the path to meeting its voluntary target of 66% by 2010.

Still for both huge volumes of unrecycled material and the list goes on, which grows minute by minute, second by second to increasingly unmanageable levels. Some of the other recyclable waste items covered in the above Wikipedia article are: Building and construction waste (from Hurricane Ian in Florida for example), batteries (growing as EV production rises), electronic waste (I just got rid of my old printer to where?), and plastic (most are just not recyclable at present). Some like textiles are more recyclable, but the enormity of the waste is staggering.

The invasive human occupancy of our planet has increased destruction of irreplaceable assets such as the Brazilian rain forest and multiple species of plants and animals.

This situation has now been documented and reported as threats such as climate change, global warming, severe weather patterns etc., but the true culprits are humans! Yes, us!

The problem of too many humans has not been addressed by world leadership and likely will not be addressed until the effects of human collapse are irreparable.

And it may not be a nuclear war which brings human habitation on earth to large scale extinction but the growing level of destructive human waste! A scary Halloween indeed and one being again largely foolishly ignored.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?” and “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”.

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