When you enter some households, it’s like you’ve stepped down into a labyrinth where the where the maze is mostly made of junk. Leaving yourself breadcrumbs (so to as to escape), you finally reach the grand shrine—a decade’s worth of hoardings. In a moment of solemn reflection, you may realize just how much you are defined by your junk; and how much you don’t need it. It is then, beholding all your old clothes, televisions, and chairs, that you may ask yourself: Where does it all go?
While the psychiatrists, sociologists, and philosophers quarrel over why we accumulate so much, we concern ourselves with the life cycle of junking itself.
The Abyss of Landfills
After a citizen of Gloucester County, or the surrounding area, is rescued by a trash removal crew, their junk embarks on a journey of sorts. Packed into the fourteen-foot long box of a junk truck, they pray to avoid the wasteland that is our landfills; trash that can’t be recycled finds its way there. Recyclable and redeemable trash is transported straight to the nearest transfer station. At one of these waste management sites, trash is plucked and sorted from the rest.
The Refuge of Recycling
Inside of a recycling depot, all your plastics, metals, and construction materials are given a chance at life again. Some of these will be heated and melted down into rawer forms; while some will be converted into renewable energies. What is most readily re-usable is reserved for charitable donations. You may also find these materials at your local salvage yard, being broken down into their separate parts.
The Sentencing of the TV
In a bygone era, we kept our televisions for decades, seeking out the TV repairman when it called for it. Like our smartphones, our TVs tend to be replaced every three or five years, as technology evolves faster than we can process it. The oldest and most bulbous of our CRTs need to be broken down carefully, lest they leak with lead. Newer flat screens and LEDs are handled just as carefully, as they contain mercury. After a visit from the local trash removal gurus, Burlington County and its neighbors rest more easily, knowing their junk is in proper accord with mother nature.