Why We Should Recycle More

Decades ago, people weren't too concerned about waste in homes and landfills, however, the waste became so vast that the people started getting more and more concerned.  One of the solutions for this problem was recycling.  Simply put, recycling is a process where we convert waste into new products. With the ever-increasing consumption and waste accumulation, recycling efforts need to be increased.  According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, Americans generated 33 million tons of plastics in 2014, about 13 percent of the waste stream. Only 9.5 percent of plastics were recycled in 2013. In addition, Americans also generated 11.5 million tons of glass in 2014, about 26 percent of which was recovered for recycling. Making new glass from recycled glass is typically cheaper than using raw materials. This is not a problem just for one nation, it is a global problem. 

Below are some of the reasons why we should recycle more:
  • Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and carbon emissions
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
  • Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials
  • Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
  • Saves energy and improves Groundwater Quality
  • Supports American manufacturing and conserves valuable resources
  • Helps create jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States

Below is a list of materials that can be recycled:

METALS:
  • Aluminum Cans
  • Aluminum foil and bakeware
  • Steel Cans and Tin Cans
PAPER/CARDBOARD:
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Magazines
  • Office Paper
  • Newspapers
  • Paperboard
  • Paper cardboard dairy an juice cartons
  • Unsolicited Direct Mail
  • Phone Books
GLASS:
  • Clean (Flint) Glass
  • Brown (Amber) Glass
  • Green (Emerald) Glass
PLASTICS:
  • We need to make sure that it is clean because one dirty product, or one with food waste still in it, can contaminate an entire bale, containing thousands of pounds of collected plastic
BATTERIES/BULBS:
  • Car Batteries
  • Household and button batteries
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Led lights
  • Fluorescent Bulbs
ELECTRONICS
  • Computers and computer peripherals
  • Office equipment such as photocopiers, printers, fax machines
  • Televisions
  • Consumer electronics
  • Cell Phones
Sources:
https://www.epa.gov/recycle/recycling-basics
https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/