Tons of waste that is dumped in riverside landfills or right into the waterways is accumulating behind a trash barrier in the Drina River in Bosnia. Now, again, the barrier has become the outer edge of a huge floating garbage dump filled with plastic bottles, barrels, tires, appliances, driftwood, and other garbage.
The landfills on the side of the river are poorly regulated, and trash accumulates in the waterways that flow across three countries before coming to the Drina River. Extreme weather like heavy rain and unseasonably warm weather has caused many rivers in the Bosnia, Serbia, and Montenegro areas to overflow. The Drina River runs 215 miles long from Montenegro through Serbia and Bosnia. Much of the river is known for its amazing scenery, but the floating garbage dump in Bosnia is continuing to get worse.
CBS News reported that around 10,000 cubic meters (more than 353,000 cubic feet) of waste are estimated to have accumulated behind the Drina River trash barrier in recent days. Removing the garbage takes a long time, and environmental activists are tired. They removed this same amount from the river in recent years, and now they feel back to square one, and there’s no sign of the cycle stopping anytime soon. Removing the garbage can take up to six months on average.
The surrounding countries and Bosnia have made minimal progress to build effective and eco-friendly trash disposal systems. Thankfully, companies everywhere are beginning to make machines that can clean up waste in water faster than ever before. Check out this new fully electric device, called the Plastics Piranha, which can collect 100 pounds of garbage at a time.
However, we also need to work on solving the problem from the source. Every day, the average American throws away 4.4 pounds of garbage, roughly 728,000 tons. Food makes up a majority of our waste at about 24 percent, plastics just over 18 percent, and paper and paperboard make up about 12 percent. The hazardous environmental conditions this produces are only compounded by steadily rising land scarcity. We’re quickly running out of time to counter this, so start cutting back on your contribution to these landfills today.
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- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!