What Goes Around Comes Around
Recycling is an easy way to contribute to a sustainable community and reduce waste. It lowers our individual environmental impact and will help South Florida continue to be a healthy place to live, work, and play. If you are new at recycling please explore the links below and discover how you can help our planet.
Recycling at my home - Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority
Where is the nearest recycling drop-off location to me? Recycle Nation
You can recycle much more than you think! - Earth 911’s Recycling Search
Don't throw away your scrap metal -Palm Beach Metal Scrap Recycling Center/ Liberty Scrap Metals
Learn more about recycling - Southern Waste Systems - Recycling
The Sobering Reality of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
By: Leisure Pro's Aqua Views Online Scuba Magazine. February 18, 2013
One of the most disturbing occurrences on the planet is the formation of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This patch looks like a giant, floating island of waste and debris in the middle of the ocean. Seeing the patch, and realizing the enormous effect it has on the surrounding wildlife, can bring into perspective how much waste and destruction humans create without even realizing it.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the Northern middle section of the Pacific Ocean. The exact location of the patch fluctuates, depending on how large the patch is at any given time and also on the water currents and weather. Usually, the patch is located from about 35 and 42 degrees North and 135 and 155 degrees West.
The formation of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch happened slowly over a period of many years. It formed when ocean currents gradually gathered debris. These currents, and the debris they carried, eventually met the North Pacific Gyre, a huge vortex of rotating currents located in the Northern part of the Pacific Ocean. Debris was swept into the gyre and pushed towards the center. Once there, the debris became trapped by the swirling currents. As more debris was caught, the patch grew larger.
Today, the garbage patch is about 22,000 square miles in size. However, this size constantly fluctuates, so it is nearly impossible to determine a truly accurate size. Some scientists believe that the patch is actually a bit smaller. It has also been claimed, mostly in media reports, that the mass is much larger. However, these claims of a patch the size of the United States are false.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch contains all kinds of waste material that is not biodegradable, or that biodegrades at a very slow rate. Much of this waste is plastic products. The patch also contains chemical sludge. The polluted waters negatively affect the entire marine food chain. When smaller creatures ingest the toxins, they can become ill. Then, when these sick creatures are eaten, larger animals are also poisoned. In addition, many marine animals and sea birds eat the plastic waste and are killed.
In recent years, many concerned groups have studied the patch. Today, several suggestions about how to carefully and effectively clean up the patch are being investigated. It is hoped that an effective method will be discovered and implemented within the next few years.