Florida is home to some breathtaking landscapes – from the Everglades to the beaches to the orange groves. But the state has had its share of environmental struggles, from water contamination to air pollution. Now, one issue at the forefront of the debate is that of increasing waste burning. According to research, Florida has nearly tripled its trash incineration activity in the past 15 years. This rapid increase is due in large part to the state’s rapidly growing population and demand for energy. As the state’s population continues to grow, so does the amount of waste generated, leading to more trash being burned. The problem with this trend is that burning trash is known to be a major source of air pollution. Burning garbage releases a variety of pollutants into the environment, including particulate matter, toxic gases, and heavy metals. In addition, the process produces ash that can contain hazardous materials such as mercury and lead. Unfortunately, residents near the garbage incinerator sites are bearing the brunt of this hazardous air pollution. They report experiencing a host of health issues such as respiratory problems, headaches, and skin rashes. In some cases, these health symptoms have been linked to long-term exposure to air pollution from trash burning. The good news is that the state of Florida has been taking steps to mitigate the health risks posed by waste burning. In 2018, lawmakers passed a law that creates a fund for the research and implementation of cleaner burning technology. In addition, the state has implemented stricter regulations on pollutants released from the operations of trash incinerators. There is still much more that must be done to ensure that residents near waste burning sites are not exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution. But the steps the state is taking to reduce the threat of burning trash are encouraging. The hope is that these actions will lead to reduced air pollution, better health, and a healthier Florida for future generations.