The essay Hiding in Plain Sight by Heather Rogers is an insight to the ever-rising question, which is in every American’s mind, about the waste disposing techniques currently being used and their long term effects. This question also gives rise to other issues regarding such waste disposal techniques as the amount of pollution and damage done during this supposedly socially acceptable depravity. The reason why the article is titled “hiding in plain sight” is because the garbage “landfills” are feted by many communities after their reintegration, while it is common knowledge what is covered underneath the green overlaid facade, or at least a part of it. As an attempt to appeal to the public’s code of ethics, some humor is brought out to describe the open display of the society’s unrestrained fast wasting after consumption predispositions,. The public is being asked to take responsibility to control how much waste they produce to reduce the amount of chemicals and recyclable cans that find their way to these dumpsters (Rogers).
In this case, the target audience is primarily the general Pennsylvanian public; although at some point, the article is connecting everyone reading it to a common goal. It is evident in the article when the author tries to explain whose responsibility all this mess becomes after all is done and sealed. The writer is reaching for the logical appeal of the intended audience to realize the fact that the people and companies they silently support by not raising any resistance, go scot free without need for any accountability to destruction. The most horrifying fact is that it is legal since the guiding post-closure law entails them to be operational for thirty to fifty years (Rogers). Such companies as Waste Management Inc. which are referred to as the owners of the dumpsites, abandon used up waste lands and the law follows to absolve them of any blame. It includes any problematic issues arising from contamination after thirty years from closure of a “Sanitary Landfill”. A responsibility swiftly passed to the public, which in a way has agreed to take the full responsibility for the unknown future reaction effect emanating from these sealed “landfills”. (Rogers)
The article is trying to bring the general public to the awareness that those damages made to our planet by the Landfill system could turn out drastic and beyond repair. It might explain why most of these pieces or sections of land are well tucked away from the public’s eye. The writer expresses distress concerning why the community could let this go on right under their noses and just choose to look the other way. This socially accepted and legally justified vice vividly shows how the public never takes time to think ahead about where all this garbage ends up and the expected or unforeseen effects to our future generations. Rogers seems to be disturbed by the fact that while the government has put restrictions on waste disposing companies, many of them get away with shortcuts spelling future disasters. In the article’s last paragraph, Rodgers asks a very important question such as why we have not invested in reducing the waste we produce to curb the problem of garbage discarding, which is less destructive to the environment. It also seems to be addressing the garbage disposing companies. The article tries to reach their ethical values, and at the same time, perplexing their logic. It is evident when the writer describes the technology advancement on the process used today and parties involved ranging from research institutes to corporate sponsors to dispose of America’s waste (Rogers). The writer aggravates the question whether better ways that are less detrimental to our environment can be learnt to evade imminent calamities. The public needs to be sufficiently educated on effective ways of protecting the environment. It is appraised that the typical American refuses almost seven pounds of trash daily (Rogers). A large percentage of plastic materials as well as glass containers end up being burnt or buried instead of being recycled, which would drastically reduce amount of collected or produced waste.
Besides the above mentioned views gathered from the matter discussed in the excerpt from the author, this could also pass as an appeal to the government to take responsibility and equip its public with the correct measures to reduce the amount of disposed waste. A lot of government’s money is spent on funding this waste disposal process instead of formulating limitations to the amount of garbage collected by helping the public consume less as opposed to throwing things away. Rogers states that 80% of the products used in the US are mostly used once and then thrown away. The government is also being pushed to ethically and logically come up with better and tougher legislative laws to curb vices like littering, and eventually, laws regulating the disposing of waste. This form of garbage disposal described as landfilling is definitely better than littering the streets or having open mountains of dumpsters. However, the negative effects that are in store for the next generations could be devastating. Landfilling is as unhealthy to the public as just having open piled up waste. This is because the chemical seeping through the pile of garbage might find its way to the water system or natural rivers and cause unfathomable harm (Rogers). The government’s integrity is being questioned by the fact that it has purposely placed its own citizens in impending danger and just concentrated on making profits from the billions of dollars involved in this industry.