Not all things will biodegrade, other garbage decomposes at a different rate, but some of our garbage that you would think would biodegrade relatively sooner that other materials may take hundreds of years longer if not disposed of correctly.
For example, many things that are biodegradable in soil – such as tree trimmings, food wastes and paper will not biodegrade when we place them in landfills, because the artificial landfill environment lacks the light, water and bacterial activity required for the decay process to begin.
The Time Common Waste Items Will Take to Decompose
Different sources may provide slightly different information on actual time various waste items take in landfills to decompose, but the numbers won’t vary much from this data below.
- Cigarette Butts – 10-12 years;
- Monofilament Fishing Line – 600 years;
- Rubber-Boot Sole – 50-80 years;
- Foamed Plastic Cups – 50 years;
- Leather shoes – 25-40 years;
- Milk Cartons – 5 years;
- Plywood – 1-3 years;
- Painted board – 13 years;
- Cotton Glove – 3 months;
- Cardboard – 2 months;
- Styrofoam- It does not biodegrade;
- Nylon Fabric- 30-40 years;
- Tin can- 50 years;
- Ropes – 3-14 months;
- Waxed milk carton- 3 months;
- Aluminum cans- 200-250 years;
- Train tickets – two weeks,
- Canvas products – 1 year;
- Batteries – 100 years;
- Lumber- 10-15 years;
- Sanitary Pads – 500-800 years;
- Wool Clothing- 1-5 years;
- Tinfoil- It does not biodegrade.
One way to deal with the problem of garbage that is not biodegradable is avoiding products that generate waste materials that take more than a year to decompose in landfills. The other way to use a garbage disposal company that know how to properly dispose of your trash!