Recycling: Is It Just a Bunch of Garbage

Topics: Recycling, Waste management, Waste Pages: 4 (1709 words) Published: April 6, 2013
Recycling: Is it Just a Bunch of Garbage
Americans produce 4.34 pounds of garbage per person per day (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2010). Most people just bring garbage to the curb and just forget about it. Local governments employ numerous ways to remove a growing amount of garbage. The most common way is to ship it off to a landfill and bury it. Another way that has been gaining popularity is recycling. Communities have been struggling with waste removal for generations, raising the question, which option makes more financial sense: landfills or recycling. Even though it is cheaper to use a landfill, recycling is beneficial because ultimately it can save communities money and recycling helps expand the life of growing landfills. Recycling has been a part of Americans vocabulary since the early 1900’s. As stated in the article The truth about recycling (2007), recycling became even more prevalent during the Great Depression when recyclable materials were reused in order to survive economic hardships. Also during World War II recycling became a patriotic duty when the government asked all citizens to help in the war effort by recycling scrap metal. During the 1970’s the first residential curbside recycling programs began showing up. These programs were introduced because many environmental groups began seeing an increase in public garbage production, with no increase in recyclable items. However, even with making recycling more accessible to the average consumer, it still took another 20 years for the idea of recycling to take hold. As seen in the article A Brief History of Recycling: A Story of Trash and Treasure by Allison Elliot, in 1987 the Mobro 4000 barge was loaded up with garbage in New York City and was set to travel to North Carolina to offload the trash. When the barge reached North Carolina it was not allowed to offload. The barge was then sent to Belize, where it was refused once again to pass on its rotting cargo. With nowhere...
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