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Articles on Municipal solid waste

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Volunteers load plastic bags for a weekly food pantry service in Everett, Mass., May 10, 2020. Everett has some of the highest COVID-19 infections rates in the state. Joseph Prezioso /AFP via Getty Images

COVID-19 has resurrected single-use plastics – are they back to stay?

Pandemic precautions have given new life to disposable plastic products, which the industry claims are more 'hygienic' than reusables. But critics say there's no scientific evidence this is so.
A discarded medical glove in Jersey City, N.J., April 27, 2020. Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

COVID-19 is laying waste to many US recycling programs

The COVID-019 pandemic has boosted use of disposable packaging and personal protective equipment, at the same time that many recycling programs are facing budget cuts. The upshot: More plastic trash.
Debris left behind after a tornado strike on Jefferson City, Missouri, May 23, 2019. AP Photo/Summer Ballentine

Millions of burnt trees and rusted cars: Post-disaster cleanup is expensive, time-consuming and wasteful

Government agencies have detailed plans for responding to disasters, but one piece doesn't get enough attention: cleaning up the mess that's left behind.
The Wheelabrator Waste to Energy Plant in Saugus, Massachusetts, has been burning trash to generate electricity since 1975. Fletcher6/Wikimedia

Is burning trash a good way to handle it? Waste incineration in 5 charts

Every year the US burns more than 34 million tons of garbage in incinerators. These plants are major pollution sources, and most are clustered in disadvantaged communities.

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