How often have you gone to throw out something and wondered, “Can I recycle this?” Probably not often. Recycling is such an easy thing to do, however, people always seem to forget about it.
Point blank: recycling is important. By recycling, fewer greenhouse gasses are emitted. Mining materials are not needed in such high quantities and it’s the easiest way to keep the environment from combusting. If all someone needs to do is put something in a designated bin, why do so many people seem to forget about it?
The truth is, people just don’t know about it. In the 1990’s, the US switched to a single stream recycling system. People didn’t have to sort their recyclables into plastic, glass, metal, and paper, making it easier and more convenient, however as the program got easier, people got lazier.
Many people want to recycle, they just simply do it the wrong way. Trash and recyclable materials are two different things. Currently, recycling contamination rates are at an average of 25% and nothing can be salvaged. It will all go straight for a landfill, making an entire haul of recyclables, unusable.
Cities, like Philadelphia, have even started to ignore recycling procedures and everything is heading straight to the dump. Costs are increasing and contamination rates make separating the materials too time consuming. Recycling may be more complicated than we all think, but with a little bit of effort, we can all ensure a more prosperous earth for future generations.
Some Recycling Resources:
Recycle Across America: https://www.recycleacrossamerica.org/tips-to-recycle-right
United States Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/how-do-i-recycle-common-recyclables