Taking something ugly and wrong and making it look good

Last night my grandson wanted me to watch one of his favorite movies with him on Netflix.  No problem.  It was interesting, until it hit on the subject of garbage, then I got angry.

Kids movies aren’t very interesting to me generally, and this was in that category.  The movie is called All About Trucks, and he is obsessed with trucks.  The movie was very informative and done at a level he could easily understand so no problem.

I want him to know the truth and grow up healthy

Then comes the garbage truck.  We are told that we can no longer say garbage, the truck is now called a sanitation truck.  Okay, gotcha.  Then again we are told that we can’t call garbage “garbage”.  It’s now called environmental waste.  Okay, I’m good with that. Let’s remind people that we are killing the environment with our waste, I can live with that.

But then they show the truck dumping the “environmental waste” into the landfill.  It’s perfectly okay, because as we are told, once the landfill is full, they make everything nice again and turn it into a golf course with beautiful green grass.

I would rather protect babies health than have the convenience of a landfill

Yes, my grandson stopped me at the point where the garbage, oops environmental waste is being dumped into the landfill and asks me if that will all be made into new stuff and I remind him that’s the stuff that goes in the little dumpster here and is buried in the hole in the ground.

Why should we be concerned when after our “environmental waste” fills up the land it is now usable land for us to play on, and yes all the people golfing had large, happy smiles?

Don’t you want to know your baby is safe at the local playground? My grand daughter and her mommy.

Here’s why.  Plenty of people don’t care what they put in their garbage can (can I still call it a garbage can?) somewhere we are going to find batteries, CFL bulbs filled with mercury, paint, probably even oil from changing the oil in a car and much more that should never be put into the earth.  These things can cause illness, life-threatening illnesses.  I sure don’t want to live on top of a landfill or play golf or anything else on top of it.

Do you know where your food has been grown and if the land is safe?

Here are just a few of the risks of living near a landfill read more on this here and here.

  • Increased incidents of cancers including: bladder, brain, and leukemia
  • birth defects including: hole in the heart (neuro-tube defect), malformation of arteries
  • reduced immune system resulting in increased risk of infections
  • run off of bacteria, solvents, PCBs and more can enter our ground water
  • contaminated air in our homes
  • methane that makes it’s way into our basements can cause explosions
  • respiratory ailments
What are you willing to drink with your water?

If you want a breakdown of the hazards to the environment from landfill sites check out this article for a complete definition of each potential element can do to the surrounding area, it also explains that the plastic barriers that are required to line the landfills are failing more than 50% of the time.



    • I was fortunate to grow up with grandparents who lived in a time before landfills. They were constantly telling me how my generation was ruining both our health and the health of the planet. Glad you enjoyed the post.


  1. Besides landfill problems, you touched on one of my push button issues–fluorescent light bulbs. In an effort to save energy by soon requiring everyone to have only them, they have forgotten about the mercury in them and disposal . So in trying to fix one problem, they are creating another one. The environment is very complex place and needs to be thought about carefully. It is not one-dimensional.


    • CFLs are something I don’t use. I know, using the old fashioned bulbs are wasteful and against what I am trying to do in my life which is live without depleting the resources. I would love to say my life had zero negative impact on the planet, but I’m not there yet. I hate CFLs they give off a strange light that gives me headaches. The long tubes cause me all kinds of problems and trigger anxiety-like reactions. I recently bought LEDs, but they aren’t here yet. I have heard they have mercury in them, but it’s a much smaller amount. I can’t find an alternative to that, have you found an alternative?


      • You are not alone in the getting headaches from CFL’s. That problem has been reported from many people. It doesn’t trigger my migraines, but if I have one, I can’t stand to be around them. I have not found a better alternative and am hanging onto my incandescents as long as I can. I will make up for that by conserving in other areas.


        • That’s what I have been doing for now. I have one reading lamp I love I bought at Ikea it uses a 25 watt bulb that works better than my 60 watt with the shade over it. The Ikea bulbs all meet the California standards for energy efficiency so they are better than regular incandescent.

          I never knew why a day in school left me with headaches, it only took a few minutes into a class when the headaches would start. It wasn’t until later I heard about the connection to the CFLs, we had those tubes in all the classrooms, the humming also drove me nuts.


    • Thank you Jean for correcting me on that 🙂 It is scary to think about what we are doing and how people don’t even question whether or not it’s safe to be around. I have a friend who lives near a landfill, less than 2 miles from it. Since she moved there her health has deteriorated immensely. She’s younger than me but now has heart and respiratory issues. I haven’t said anything to her yet, as I know she’s not in a position to move, but I wonder if her health issues are related to her location.


  2. I’m living in the Portland, OR area where they are more enviromentally conscious than most places I’ve lived. When my daughter first moved here 7 years ago, she found a cheap apartment. Last hubby & I went to visit. I had not been able to determine the odor but hubby was possitive it was methane gas. Turns out the complex had been built over a supposedly now safe land fill. It’s section 8 housing for the poor. Lovely, don’t you think. I helped her pay rent for 2 years in a better place but I feel for all those that have to live there and don’t know why they feel so bad. Time to get off my soap box. I’m with you on so many levels.


    • I am so sorry for your daughter and her husband. Living over a landfill is worse than visiting it to play golf on. I have heard so much about the Portland area and how they are an example for the rest of us, but that’s just wrong. I hope no one takes this wrong, but I see it time and again how the poor are left with the worst locations. I feel sometimes that just because they haven’t made it to that miracle $ amount of income they don’t matter to those making decisions. How fortunate that you were in a position to help your daughter to relocate. Thank you for sharing your story, I hope others read this and begin to check their homes to make sure they are living in a safe place.


  3. You are such a good writer, Lois! I enjoyed reading, as I always do and you hooked me with my very first visit to your blog with a post about taking your grandson for a walk, the dumpsters, etc. He’s very lucky to have a grandmother to teach him these things.

    When I saw the title of the movie you watched, my first thought was “that’s the video I found at a yard sale last summer and gave to one of our son’s for his little boy”, because he loves trucks. I can “see” the video from your telling of it. It sounds like they did alright until they got to “they make everything nice again and turn it into a golf course with beautiful green grass.” 🙄 🙄 What were they thinking when the people who produced this, or the people who reviewed it before its release? It makes a person wonder how a room full of people (I’m assuming) could let this slip by as “ok” without one of them picking up on something about that that could be changed or handled in a different way. Wow, that’s all I’ve got… wow!

    I wasn’t a bit surprised to see that you wrote he stopped you at that point to talk about the subject. Kids are so smart and I’m sure that lesson you taught him not too long ago stuck with him and he’s probably thought about it many times when you haven’t been around, too. See? He knew it was wrong – what a smart guy he is! (cute, too!!)


    • I’m sure your grandson is enjoying the movie, it’s well done and explains how trucks work and what jobs they do in very clear details. I got the impression from the way the landfills/now golf course was handled that it was almost a way to sell this as a good idea and makes everything fine.

      My grandson still does watch for garbage lying around and asks to put it in the recycling bins, he complains when he sees trash on our walks that people are bad to toss things out like that. He is a smart one.

      I’m so glad you enjoy my writing and keep returning as I enjoy our conversations that follow.


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