A Discarding Discussion: Where Does it All Go?
Many, many Neopians use their discard feature every day. Even if you haven’t used it recently, you have most likely used it at some point. Sometimes we use it on a poisonous jelly, to keep the rest of the Neopian population safe from using it after picking it up at the Money Tree, unaware of its disease-inducing qualities. Maybe, frustrated by a lack of valuable prizes after a game of Key Quest, we discarded the unwanted items so that we wouldn’t have to see them taunting us in our inventories, reminding us of the paint brush we could have gotten. Or perhaps we did receive a paint brush in Key Quest, and when we went to place it in our shops or galleries, we hit the discard button by accident. Once the items are gone from our inventories, we either stop worrying about them, or, depending on the circumstances, get very upset that TNT added a feature like that to begin with. But they are gone, where we can’t get them back.
In all my years on Neopets, I never wondered where all the discarded items were going. After the inoffensive confirmation button had been pressed, it was none of my business anymore. But when I did start thinking about it, I realized something wasn’t adding up. In theory, there should be discarded items everywhere! The streets of Neopia Central should be filled with Old Rotten Left Shoes. The beaches of Mystery Island should be cluttered with Unlabelled Tin Cans. And there should be a pile of Half Coconut Shells so high it would rival the size of Terror Mountain. But there aren’t any of those things. Why not, though? After much speculation and “research” (by “research I mean clicking two links and then deciding to order a pizza), I’ve come up with four plausible theories to answer the big question: Where do our items go after we have discarded them?
Theory Number One: The Southern Mountain
Remember how I said that there should be a mountain of junk the size of Terror Mountain? Well, my “research” indicates that that might just be the case. Though I haven’t been focused on our pollution problem, or lack thereof, for very long, I have wondered for quite a while why there was a second mountain at the south pole of Neopia. This could just be the geography of the planet, but I think it may be where all the junk is going. There is no link to visit the southern mountain, so my theory can’t be confirmed, but considering the massive volume of the discarded things, it is entirely possible that that mountain is made up of all that stuff. While it doesn’t quite rival Terror Mountain in height, its base is much wider than Terror Mountain’s, which may indicate that the junk is beginning to sprawl away from the main mass. The southern mountain is a land feature we should keep our eyes on, in case it begins to invade other areas of our planet.
Theory Number Two: The Rubbish Dump
Ah, the rubbish dump. Marring Meridell’s otherwise beautiful landscape, we have only truly entered Meri Acres Farm when our eyes begin to water from the stench of this mound of trash. Most people don’t journey here too often. It’s like the impulse buy of exploring Neopia. You click the link and, much too late, realize where you are and what you’ve done. You flee, nose burning and hoping for nothing more than an immediate shower in your Neohome. This is another area that got me thinking. Perhaps there is more to Meri Acres’ rubbish dump than meets the eye. Consider: what is a more logical place for all your trash items than Neopia’s only trash heap? It seems like an obvious answer, but sometimes the true answer is obvious. Who knows? Maybe if you did a little real digging through the Rubbish Dump you would find your long-lost Bony Grarrl Club. Or maybe you would only find a half-dozen Kassegat Jig Saw Puzzles. Or maybe you wouldn’t find anything. This is only speculation, after all.
Theory Number Three: Space
Look around you. Really. Pull up a map of our planet. As you can see, we have not confined ourselves to staying on the planet’s surface. We have built the amazing Virtupets Space Station. There are large settlements on our moon, Kreludor. These features may have some drawbacks, like a lever of doom and an unpredictable Neocola machine, but they also provide us with benefits, like robot petpets, space food, and the entire Grundo species. These two locations also gave me another chance to speculate (which I seem to do a lot). What if this is the answer? Maybe Neopia has a second, uncharted moon. If it exists, it is plausible that it is being used as a landfill for all the items that have been discarded over the years. The space station (and probably Kreludor as well) must deploy dozens of rockets every day. Otherwise, it’s unlikely that we would ever be able to visit, other than Grundos and alien Aishas. It’s entirely possible that rockets are loaded with our discarded junk and blasted into the deepest parts of outer space. Maybe they’re sent into the sun, so that all the junk is gone for good. The only hole I can find in that theory is that it costs a lot of money to build and launch a rocket. But it’s also possible that the entire operation is run by Fyora, who has plenty of money thanks to that overpriced tower of hers.
Theory Number Four: Nonexistence
It seems anticlimactic, but it is entirely possible that the items you have just discarded simply stop existing. It is also entirely possible that they go somewhere that doesn’t exist, like Goldrun or Jelly World. After a lot of thought, I feel like the second of these two ideas is far more likely. It’s a lot of work to make things stop existing. It would, at least in my mind, involve some horrible process where a chasm was opened somewhere in Neopia (like the one in the Maraquan Ruins, for example) and the discard police would have to throw everything into that hole so it would be thoroughly destroyed. Unfortunately, something like that would never work because Maraqua is underwater, and so anything you would try to throw into the chasm would just float to the surface of the water and be washed up on one of Mystery Island’s pristine beaches. Sending it all off to Goldrun or Jelly World would be much simpler, because as neither of those places exist, it logically follows that anything that is in either of those places does not exist either. I’m sure you’re glaring at the page right now. I’m sorry. It makes sense in my head. Now that I think about it, wherever the trash is going is probably the same place the answer to the Bonju avatar is hidden (edit: never mind about Bonju.).
There are many potential ways that the pollution problem that Neopia should be having could be being handled. I have considered a lot of theories, but these are the ones I think are most likely to be the real answers to one of Neopia’s last unanswered questions: Where is all our garbage going?
This is my first NT article, and it was a long process. Feel free to send feedback! Thanks for reading!