… collecting garbage can be harmful to the environment?
The reason is that you do not remove it entirely from the ecosystem, but just move (shift) and pile it in another place. Waste that is stored on a single territory produces more pollution pressure on this territory than garbage scattered on a far larger area. While in the second case the ecosystem is still able to cope with it, the battle with the constantly increasing concentrated waste is beyond its powers. Therefore, the first case leads to quick and irreversible damage of the ecosystem.
So, if we really want to clean up our planet, we need to change our focus from moving the increasing amount of waste here and there to reducing its “production” and reusing / recycling what is impossible to reduce.
Note: “Did You Know?” is an informational initiative of the BioSciences Research Centre (BSRC).