San Francisco’s Dumping Ground in the Ocean

Topographic map of SF-DODS disposal zone in the Pacific Ocean.

Topographic map of SF-DODS disposal zone in the Pacific Ocean. Image source: http://www.epa.gov/region9/water/dredging/sfdods/sfdods-map.html


Visuals come to mind such as whales dodging sinking concrete and tires, along with a general feeling of sadness. Ya know whales, fish and plant life… your lives do not matter to us humans – so we just crap in your house.

Garbage barge.

Garbage barge.

There is a disposal site 50 miles from San Francisco that is six miles in diameter. Details can be found on the Environmental Protection Agency website. EPA does not cover what exactly gets disposed of there, nor how they conduct the dumping besides loading up barges and shipping it out to the location with depths between 8,200 – 9,840 feet. These depths are considered “deep” – so their rationalization is that it is okay to dump there.

At what point will we create products that do not end up as landfill? If humanity keeps on reproducing at a rate of 130 million babies per year and consuming everything in sight, do you wonder if our existence will end up being one big wasteland at the end of the century? I think about the basic products I bring home, such as Kumato* tomatoes, so neatly wrapped in plastic. Multiply that plastic by thousands produced and distributed per year and we have one enormous pile of plastic that ends up being landfill.

Of course, I am not going to stop eating my tomatoes, lentils, rice and grapes – all bagged in plastic; it is what I eat to try and stay healthy. Is there not a way for the producers of products to be required to use 100% recyclable materials? I do not want to leave this planet a wasteland for anything living or yet to come into existence. I do my part in recycling every material I can. I throw the plastic wrappers in the recycling bin anyway – just in case it can be recycled. I do not know what else I can do considering I am not in the position to grow my own food.

What are the little things we can do every day to create less waste? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!


*I tried to find out how many Kumato products are produced per year on the Kumato website and come to find out, they are grown in Spain, France, Belgium and Switzerland! The only mention of location on the package is, Monrovia, California – the Trader Joe’s headquarters. This is a whole new ball of wax; I eat tomatoes that are shipped across the ocean. Perhaps not anymore.

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2 thoughts on “San Francisco’s Dumping Ground in the Ocean

  1. How can we stop this. It is terrible and in what is supposed to be one of the world’s most environmentally conscience society’s in the world. We want to help. Going to write to congressman Jared Huffman Yasmin Odanovich

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