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Trash, Resources and Garbology

            People in the United States produce a lot of waste because we are largely a consumer society. But no one really thinks about where all this waste goes. Over the past decade or two we have generated more garbage than any other country in the world but there have also been attempts to reduce this waste. However, the problem of getting rid of waste still exists. Just like any other city in the United States, Albuquerque is also a place that has waste problems. Trash produced in Albuquerque goes to the Cerro Colorado Landfill located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This landfill opened on May 1990 and has a twenty-year permit for operating as of April 2001 (About Cerro Colorado Landfill). Cerro Colorado has a short life expectancy of 50 years, which brings the question: what are we going to do when the Cerro Colorado fills up? As of now the landfill only has 25 more years. Although this seems like a long time, in perspective our time is quickly running out. The landfill is twenty acres large and has three hundred and ninety acres of waste disposal. Cerro Colorado Landfill can also dispose petroleum-contaminated soils and this is done in a specific five-acre area reserves for this use (About Cerro Colorado Landfill). .
             For a pretty small city like Albuquerque, a lot of trash is being dumped into the landfill. An average of 1,400 tons of garbage is disposed in the Cerro Colorado Landfill each weekday (About Cerro Colorado Landfill). On the weekends this amount increases and garbage is dumped about three hundred times a day. This amounts to about 450,000 tons of residential and commercial trash each year (About Cerro Colorado Landfill). Garbage service does not come free; it costs a monthly fee even though it is not a huge amount. Another interesting thing is that the trash bins in Albuquerque are considerably small compared to trash bins in other cities. Also, the smaller size of trash bins might actually decrease the amount of trash produce by households.

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