Mandatory Recycling in America
December 19, 2011
Mandatory Recycling in America
The “Big Idea” I have chosen to take on is “Recycling”. My thesis statement will be “Recycling should be made mandatory in our nation due to the fact that waste management in the United States is in a state of chaos.” There are always two sides to every controversy but, I believe with further research I will be able to show how implementing a mandatory recycling program can be profitable and beneficial to all. With facts and written data, I will be able to develop a knowledgeable argument to back up my claims. With this topic come many opinions both in agreement and against recycling, so as I research my topic I will only use data and facts that come from governmental organizations and documentation that is fact based. From what I have gathered already, there are many opinionated articles and information that are not based on fact but on personal feelings and opinions. Although I might agree with the information these items communicate, I have to stick with facts in order to present an argument that can be backed and proven with factual information. It is only in this manner that I will be able to appeal to people on both sides of this issue as to the importance of a mandatory recycling program. To pitch my argument at the federal level so to convince them of the need for a mandatory recycling program, I would say this: In 1976 congress gave authority over waste management in the United States to the EPA by passing the Solid Waste Disposal Act. This Act required all states to create and put into motion a plan that would increase waste reduction and recycling. By 1980 these plans should have been submitted to the EPA, approved and then implemented but this never occurred. The EPA takes the position that solid waste management is a state matter. However, under U.S.C.title 42-THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE/CHAPTER 82-SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL/SUBCHAPTER 1-GENERAL PROVISIONS, congressional findings state that “while the collection and disposal of solid waste should continue to be primarily the function of state and local agencies, the problems of waste disposal have become a matter national in scope and in concern and necessitate federal action.” (United States Congress, 2011). Although some believe that the cost of recycling is higher than that of traditional waste disposal, these findings are based on the cost of equipment to run a program, manpower to work the facilities and the time it takes to collect and sort the recyclables. What about the positive impact on our environment? What about the reduction in waste in our landfills? Isn’t saving our environment for future generations more important? Can you put a dollar value on one’s health, one’s life? We as Americans need to do all we can to clean up our nation. Mandatory recycling is a great place to start.
United States Congress (January 7, 2011). U.S.C. Title 42-the public health and welfare/chapter 82-solid waste disposal/subchapter 1- general provisions [White paper]. Retrieved from: uscode.house.gov