Sustainability myth's

Here are some Recycling Myths from PSU website link on sustainability


Myth: "Recycling means more material to collect." The same amount of waste is generated as with an all-disposal system. With recycling, however, the waste is just separated into useful categories that can be reprocessed into usable goods.

Myth: "Not recycling is cheaper than recycling." Recycling should always be compared against disposal, since the material still must be transported off campus. "Not recycling" means paying for disposal, and disposal costs are typically much higher than the national average.

Myth: "Since we have plenty of land for landfills, recycling isn't important." Recycling has many more benefits than simply reducing landfill use, including:
Conserving non-renewable natural resources (e.g., trees, oil, minerals, etc.),
Reducing energy consumption, and
Reducing the pollution and environmental impacts associated with extracting resources from the earth (e.g., clear-cutting, oil drilling, mining, burning coal to melt steel, etc.).
No community wants to be the "host" of other people's trash. The impact of a landfill is greater than simply the space it takes up. As organic matter (anything that was once living) breaks down in a landfill, it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. By reducing the amount of organic material sent to the landfill, through composting and paper recycling, you are helping to reduce greenhouse gasses.

Myth: "Recycling bins are ugly and cannot fit into the local aesthetic." Recycling bins, which are really no different than trash bins with a lid on them, come in many shapes, styles, and colors and can fit into nearly any aesthetic scheme. Recycling bins, like trashcans, must adhere to certain fire safety and sanitation standards.

Myth: "Someone else will go through the trash and pull out the recyclables before it goes to the landfill." Not true! Anything thrown into a trashcan usually ends end up in the landfill. The labor required to sort through trash after it has already been mixed is prohibitive and not safe. There are no garbage "fairies" who sort through trash and make it disappear. The only sensible way of separating paper, bottles and cans from trash is at the "source"; meaning each person separates items at the time they throw it away. At PSU, we are increasing the number of recycling bins in all buildings to make recycling easy!

Myth: "Only white paper is recyclable." Just about any type of paper is technically recyclable, including envelopes, post-it notes, colored paper, newspaper, and magazines. Some universal restrictions are waxy or thermal paper (for older fax machines), laminated paper, and food-stained paper. However, different recycling companies require different mixes and restrictions. Make sure to check the details for PSU recycling.

Myth: "Incineration is safe these days and you can burn it for the electricity." Incineration still produces emission into the air including air pollutants and greenhouse gasses. While it is true that some incinerators also produce electricity, it is not without impact. Recycling the material, or reusing or reducing its use, will save electricity and is a much more efficient way of handling the material.

Myth: "It's OK to throw something away as long as it's biodegradable." Biodegradable waste breaks down into methane in the landfill, if at all. It is usually released into the atmosphere, where it is a potent greenhouse gas. A better solution is to recycle the material, or even better, reuse it or reduce its use altogether. Non-biodegradable waste does not produce methane, but it also will not break down in the landfill, thus using more space. Composting biodegradables is an effective option.

http://www.pdx.edu/sustainability/pr_recycling_myths.html

Comments

Popular Posts