Healthy Living, Health Hazards

Talking Trash in Florida

Waste Landfills
Published on July 6, 2011

There’s no place like home, a daydreaming thought alluring me back to South Florida, after a long research road trip. As I reach Florida, reality flicks me in the head when I see the first ‘Mount Trashmore’, waste landfills dotting two of Florida’s north and south bound corridors; Interstate 95 and the Florida Turnpike. Mount Trashmore’s are mountains of garbage Florida residents have created over decades slowly creeping up into the clouds. Most of Florida is located at less than 10 feet sea level, so its hard to miss seeing these trash mountains.

How did this happen? The biggest Mount Trashmore I’ve seen so far is on Sample Road and the Florida Turnpike in South Florida. I remember 40 years ago when this stinky skyscraper of garbage did not exist. The end result of poor forecasting, poor planning and lack of invention. The community reviews on our website point out the proximity of landfills to master planned communities we score. Some real estate developers may think we are not compassionate to their situation, if a landfill is located close to their community. We are.

However, this information is important for buyers to know. Buyers have shared stories with me about their disappointment when they discovered a landfill was nearby and were not informed about it before closing. It would not surprise us at all, if real estate developers were caught buying tracts of land also unaware. As careful as landfills are monitored, measured and controlled, landfills are a health risk to the water tables and air quality. Landfills may be hidden from view until 40 years later when they grow to maximum capacity. Landfills affect the resale of your property.

Will people care if waste landfills are near their master planned community? Definitely not clearly evident by observing nearby master planned communities, some sling shot distances from trash mountains. We hope you agree, an informed buyer is a happier buyer in the long run. We look forward to the next ‘Bill Gates’ in the trash business. We applaud the King of Trash, Carl Walker at Dare County Recycling in Manteo North Carolina. Dare County Recycling knows how to talk trash and the crushed glass is fascinating to see in person on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. 

We also have my eye on Garbage Mogul Tom Szasky, Founder of Terra Cycle. A proactive creative thinker, Szasky's company is turning our garbage into money making products.

Would people oppose a sales tax surcharge to fund think tanks and committees awarding an incentive to the party who solves the landfill problem? With 150 million homes in the U.S. and families throwing a bag of garbage a day, this equates to 54 billion bags of garbage each year in just the United States.

Garbage is a mounting problem, especially in flat Florida and it makes me sad. I've seen a new trend, cities developing parks and playgrounds on these garbage mountains. Kudo’s. At least it's an attempt at doing something positive with these eyesores. None the less, they still stink and are toxic. We know we won’t be taking my grandchildren to waste landfills to play and picnic.

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