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Four Things to Know About Recycling

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In many neighborhoods of America, each house has two trash bins lined up in front, one for trash and one for recycling, each wheeled out to the curb on its designated day. Many people do their best to make sure the appropriate items get in each bin, but there is another kind of person, a kind that sees the recycling bins as overflow for the garbage. Every week on garbage pickup, the refuse from this person’s house includes hundreds of items that could have been recycled. Most likely, this person is not unfeeling about the lives he effects, probably he simply does not understand. The only way to battle ignorance is with knowledge, and to that end, here are four things everyone should know about recycling.

  1. The Garbage Crisis: There was a time when cheese did not come wrapped in individual pieces of cellophane, diapers were washed and used again and the question “paper of plastic?” would get only blank looks. Now, the world has moved on, and it produces a massive amount of trash. Americans, for example, usually throw away about 600 times their adult body weight in their lifetime. This waste must go somewhere, and in general, where it goes needs to be out of sight. That leaves oceans and wilderness.
  2. Reduces Cost: Natural, recycled resources mean a company must pay for less of the fresh resource, but there is a more beneficial way these resources save money. A natural resource that has already been processed requires far less energy to accomplish the same goal. For example, aluminum cans that have been recycled require 95% less energy to manufacture than new ones. No one can treat that large a percentage as a laughing matter.
  3. Environmental Effects: Recycling reduces pollution in both the air and water, saves energy, saves the Earth’s natural resources and reduces greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gasses are a major part of global climate change.
  4. San Diego County Office of Educators: These obviously intelligent people with too much spare time figured out that a 100-watt bulb can be powered for four hours with the energy saved by recycling one glass bottle. Perhaps next garbage pickup day you might want to explain that to you neighbor that throws all of his glass away.
    Educating others that this is not just a hobby for hippies and tree hugger will hopefully get some people to join in. Every single person makes a difference.

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