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Why Recycle?

By organicsoil Mar 29, 2014 2099 Words
Reasons for Recycling
In the world there are many problems, but one that is really important is our landfills overflowing with waste material which causes more problems for the planet. This problem can be solved with a simple fix: recycling recyclable material and not throwing them out with the rest of the garbage. To get more familiar with the term “recycling,” it is defined by Jacqueline Vaughn as the following, “recycling generally refers to the separation of materials in the waste stream so that some of those materials can be reused” (14). The term can now be clearly understood to know what recycling actually relates to. Recycling is important aspect to consider because of so much waste that can be recycled goes into landfills instead and pretty soon they will reach their maximum capacity and more waste dumps will be needed to deal with all the waste material that people choose to through away. People need to get more aware about this problem, which has been successful throughout the years, and need to recycle because recycling can be helpful. Some of the ways recycling can be helpful is that the benefits it brings to our environment benefits by reducing waste, the recycled material can be used again several times, and helping prevent the harmful pollutants that enter our ecosystem and contaminating our drinking water. Throughout the United States (U.S) it has established many state laws and regulations for recycling that has been really accommodating to it because without that being created most people would not consider recycling. Within these laws and regulations there have been tax incentives to banks and corporations because they are the most likely to create more trash, and according to Debi Kimball “Banks and corporations may take 40 percent tax credit for the cost of equipment used to manufacture recycled products” (76) while it only applies to California other states have also promoted something similar to this because that is the most resourceful technique to help big industries engage in recycling. With these tax incentives also come organizations and associations involved with recycling. The recycling ones focused more in California are the following: Californians Against Waste Foundation (CAWF), California Department of Conservation, California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB), and the federal agency that deals with all the country is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) all of these programs are involved, in one way or another, with regulating some aspect of recycling (Kimball 142, 190). All of these organizations and tax incentives are good starting points to get more people and communities to organize and get them involved with recycling to help the cause of recreating a better place to live. In the state of California there have been many driving forces to get more products to be recycled because otherwise it would end up in the landfills. The one major act that impacted Porterville and all of California was the recycling act AB 939, which, according to the City of Porterville webpage it said, “The California Integrated Waste Management Act (AB939) requires that all Cities and Counties in California reduce the amount of waste they send to landfills by 50%, or face fines of up to $10,000 per day” (Public) the act is established specifically for recycling and made recycling a big incentive to engage in it more because of the penalties faced if the law is not followed by any place that it applies to. It also shows the government is making an effort to get more people involved in recycling because they know if measures are not taken to get more waste out of landfills then it will have a dissatisfying effect to our planet’s health. There are many more incentives to recycle throughout California and one example that have made recycling easier for communities are the recycling centers that are established. The main recycle material that recycling centers collect and pay cash for are aluminum, glass, and plastic; those three different items are the most recycled products because of the majority of what we buy from the stores are made out of aluminum, glass, and plastic. If we did not recycle any of the material that every day products are made of then it would have a huge impact to the ecosystem because we would have to use more raw resources from the environment which accordingly would deplete our natural resources much quicker. There might be some skepticism of recycling being harmful to the environment, but actually it is more helpful to recycle then it would be to throw the material away and eventually having the recyclable material end up in landfills. There is toxic material like televisions, light bulbs, batteries, and many more products, but throughout the years we have learned to master the recycling process so it can be disposed of in a safer manner to environment. The fact that we have developed a safer method to recycle is due to the improvements of our technology in the recycling process, and it also allows the recycling facilities to do it much cleaner and more efficiently. The most important aspect of recycling is that by joining this cause it can help combat global warming and make a difference by reusing resources to better our livelihood. There are a huge percentage of recyclable products that goes into the landfills that can be recycled and which would save a lot of resources that otherwise would end up in piles of garbage in the landfills. According to the EPA, the different material contributed in 2010 to solid waste material was paper: 28.5%; food scraps: 13.9%; yard trimmings: 13.4%; plastic: 12.4%; metals: 9.0%; rubber, leather, and textiles: 8.4%; wood: 6.4%; glass: 4.6%; and other: 3.4% which is 250 million tons of recyclable material that accumulates into the heaps of garbage piles each year (Basic). These numbers show just about how much recyclable products are thrown away each year that can be put to good use by recycling them and putting the recycled material back into something productive instead of it ending as waste material. Recycling has helped the environment by reusing material rather than just throwing them away and using new resources which depletes the world of its natural resources. Recycling does not just have to involve recycling indoor house stuff, but it can also expand to the outside of the house that includes any type of yard waste material that is considered to be as organic material that can be decayed and used for other useful purposes. This is another type of recycling that is used all around the U.S. because many cities offer a separate trash bin for yard waste that is not just mixed in with regular trash that end up in trash piles because the yard waste is put into a different pile for compost which refers to “the process of creating a pile of organic waste such as food scraps, leaves, and grass clippings, layering these materials, adding moisture, and aerating (turning regularly to provide oxygen)” the final product that is made from this is fertilizer or also ground cover (Gay 47). By reusing the organic material it helps deliver nutrients to our plants that are also considered another constructive way to help with regenerating the planet’s health by taking out of the atmosphere carbon dioxide and putting oxygen into the atmosphere for humans. Yard waste has to be one of the most effective way to recycle because it is easy to do it and pretty much we can use any material to compost piles, and this is most beneficial to people that are dedicated gardeners. To most people this has to be the most hassle free way to recycle because there is not much think about when it comes to yard waste recycling. Another major recycling tactic that has been established is food waste recycling. This idea is ingenious because it does not actually involve a complicated process of recycling food instead it is a simple way to manage food and it involves feeding discarded food to animals. A major company that deals with this kind of service is Barthold Recycling & Roll-off Services which is involved in helping in many ways not just recycling the food, but also by helping “Customers save money by paying Barthold to haul their food waste and feed it to pigs and cattle because it reduces taxes, disposal costs, and fees at landfills” (Food) and in that form makes more people happy by saving them money and space in the landfills that would otherwise be filled with food material. With the immense food thrown away by mostly restaurants and other commercial businesses, food recycling has shown to have a positive result because it is easily dealt with. The fact that many companies exist and are focused in handling this type of work has facilitated the procedure of recycling food. More recycling process should be as easy as food recycling so we can reduce the amount of waste material we have to send to our landfills because landfills also have it hard do to enormous setbacks that landfills face. Landfills are dangerous to our environment because of all the toxic waste omitted into the land where waste is disposed at Congress have put passed the Resource Conservation Recovery Act to better the state of landfills and it required, “New ones must be underlined with thick layers of clay or vinyl materials or both, so that leachate will not percolate through the soil” (Gay 8). This was meant to keep our ecosystem clean and prevent any contamination from going into the water by putting barriers at the bottom of the pit where waste is going to be deposed in. That is another reason communities should get more involved in recycling because of the huge trouble it takes to open a new landfill. Another reason to not open a new landfill is the cost it takes into building one and it also takes up valuable land that might be put into better use. Even with barriers put to prevent toxic material from spreading out of landfills it is not guaranteed that it will prevent all the contamination from entering the soil and kept from spreading to nearby places. The way we recycle can determine the state that the planet will be in for future generations of people. If we do not recycle then it can cause the piles of garbage to accumulate and grow more in landfills and then causing some further effects that can drastically change our planet’s health. Throughout many efforts in the past we have come a long way in reducing the amount of landfills we need to discard our waste material because we have had decreasing landfills which is seen in the following statistics “in 1988, nearly 8,000 landfills were operating in the U.S., but that number began to decrease rapidly. By 1990, the number was about 6,300; by 1994, just over 3,500 were in operation; and by 1998, 2,300 facilities were operating” and in the year 2005 landfills accounted for where 1,654 which has decreased because the ongoing struggle to recycle has been successful through the years and hopefully it will continue throughout future years (Vaughn 53). As it is shown recycling can have many positive effects and eventually be the key to reducing the amount of waste going to garbage dumping sites. There are many alternatives to recycling and dealing with waste and helping the landfills with its problem that could eventually have it overflowing with garbage do to people’s unmoved efforts of recycling. Every piece of trash that can be removed from dumping sites can have some desirable effects to both people and communities because it helps the delay from building other landfills that are unwanted do to its dangerous consequences. That is why recycling is not that bad of an idea to consider because its components are clearly stated as being both beneficial and easy to manage. With such tough laws and good incentives to the issue of recycling more people should go towards recycling because it is not harmful not to engage in it. Recycling is sometimes hard to get involved in but it pays off to make an effort towards recycling because of the several beneficial factors including the freeing of space in landfills.  

Works Cited
“Basic Information about Food Waste.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 24 July 2012. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. “Food Scraps Go to the Animals: Barthold Recycling and Roll-off Services.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 19 July 2012. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. Gay, Kathlyn. Garbage and Recycling. Hillside, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, 1991. Print. Kimball, Debi. Recycling in America. California: ABC-CLIO, 1992. Print. “Public Works.” City of Porterville, California. N.p., 2012. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. Vaughn, Jacqueline. Waste Management: A Reference Handbook. n.p.: ABC-CLIO, 2009. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 31 Oct. 2012.

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