From landfill to... spacefill?

Photo by Hopeful in NJ |

We all do it; drag the garbage out once a week and chuck it at the end of the curb, sometimes just one bag, sometimes more. The next morning, itʼs magically gone and our lawns look nice and tidy, problem solved! But where does it all end up? Over consumption and waste production are two huge issues in todays world. The ozone layer is being destroyed and global warming affects are already being felt around the globe, only seeming to get worse at the rate weʼre going.

As it stands, our most common waste management technique involves digging a hole, throwing the garbage inside, and covering it up. While this has suited our planet thus far, it is apparent that we wonʼt be able to keep this up for long. So what are the alternatives? One solution being investigated is the process of sending our garbage into space! Space is so big anyways, it shouldnʼt hurt to have a bit of junk floating around aimlessly right?

A recent article released by Discovery News delves into some of the issues with this idea. In orbit, at any given time, are thousands of satellites, providing us with the communication weʼve become so dependent on. Sometimes these satellites collide and are broken into very small bits, some continuing orbit and some crashing down to Earth! Every year 195,000kg of these bits rain down on Earth annually, most of which end up falling in the ocean. Space debris such as this can pose a great threat of causing irreparable physical damage to humans, animals, and the planet.

With this in mind, the idea of sending up more stuff into the space around our planet seems a little unsettling to say the least. Which leaves us back at square one: too much garbage and nowhere to put it all. The simplest solution for now lies in our day to day lives, reducing our own garbage production and in turn reducing the amount sent to landfills each day. A more effective solution will eventually be needed to stop the pollution, but for now itʼs safe to say that that solution does not involve space!