What Happens To Trash After It’s Collected?

Residential Trash Pickup In Hampton Area

The garbage bin is a nasty place. Once we haul it to the curb, most of us don’t give our trash another thought. However, knowing where garbage ends up may help us be a little more responsible come trash day. Professional trash service companies are supposed to dispose of our refuse in an environmentally sound manner, but it is still important for us to understand what happens to it all after we dump it. 

Most people assume that after garbage pickup, trash is taken to “the dump” or “landfill.” However, this isn’t always the case. Where trash ends up is determined by the waste management policies in a given city, region, or state. Typically, all trash will go through a basic series of steps, starting with either a Transfer Station or a Material Recovery Station.

Transfer Stations – A common first stop for the trash truck, a transfer station is a temporary holding area. Here the trash will get compacted and prepped for larger trucks that will take it to its final destination.

Material Recovery Station – Sometimes trash will get taken to a material recovery station, where recyclable or usable materials are separated from the load. Modern stations use high-tech sorting systems, such as shredders, magnets, and separating machines.

After navigating the ins and outs of waste management systems, the trash usually ends up in one of four places: 

The Landfill Separated from surrounding land, air, and groundwater, a landfill is essentially a safe space for decomposition to take place.

Recycling Centers – These facilities accept, process, or store recyclable materials, such as paper, glass, plastic, electronics, and metal.

Composters – Any organic waste that ends up in a composter will be turned into fertilizer or soil conditioner, which is beneficial for gardening. Commonly composted materials include fruit, eggshells, vegetables, straw, and coffee grounds.

Waste-to-Energy Plants – Also known as trash incinerators, these plants burn all the trash that ends up there. These energy plants have fires that reach up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for producing enough heat to operate electricity-producing steam turbines.

The journey from your curb to any one of these locations is a long one, and it’s important for us, and the planet, that everything gets to where it needs to be. If your trash service doesn’t have high standards, the entire process could be inefficient, frustrating, and hazardous to the environment. At Trash Away Sanitation, we take garbage disposal to the next level, guaranteeing both reliable and accountable service. Give us a call today at 770-668-4871 to make your trash removal easier than ever!

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