Jonathan from Year 9 reports on the environmental eyesores being given a breath of fresh air…

At the moment most of the waste from England and Wales is being put into landfill sites. A landfill site is a piece of land which has been used to bury waste into the ground. The amount of discarded rubbish coming from houses and businesses is constantly increasing. Alternative ways of getting rid of our waste must be adopted such as recycling and minimisation. People used landfill sites in the 20th century mainly because it was cheap and easy, but also there was a lot of space.

Landfill sites have a long-term impact on the environment because when we put waste into the ground some of that waste takes a long time to rot away. Also because some of our waste is not degrading it means that we can’t reuse our landfill sites which will lead to a lack of space, which in turn means we will have no more space to put our rubbish which poses a dilemma for future generations.

The reason why some of our waste isn’t rotting is that some plastics take a long time to break down. It is said that the average plastic bag could take up to 100 years before it all rots away and harder plastics will take even longer. This is why we are running out of space because plastics and some other materials are taking too long to decompose; we can’t put more waste into a full landfill site until all of it has rotted away.

We can help to alleviate the situation by doing something with our rubbish, such as recycling it, so it can be used again or using more bio-degradable plastics and materials. There are many ways to get rid of your rubbish which will help the environment such as: putting your glass bottles into a bottle bank which can usually be found near your local supermarket or waste tip. Most councils now encourage you to recycle by having a weekly truck take all your plastics, bottles, tins, papers and cardboards for recycling. There is little excuse not to play your part.

Many councils are now trying to regenerate their landfill sites by turning them into nature reserves which will protect the wildlife and the landscape and will do something to benefit the community. A prime local example of this is Pickerings Pasture in Widnes. This used to be a landfill site but has now been made into a nature reserve. They have made it more attractive to wildlife by planting wild flowers and trees which have encouraged a range of birds and butterflies to visit the site. People use the site to walk, exercise their dogs and to bird watch and it is a good place for a family day out. It also has stunning views across the River Mersey.