Recycling has become a way of life for many people, and it’s about time. It’s a very small step to take to live a more earth friendly lifestyle, and the small effort has a big payoff. In the effort to reduce our individual carbon footprints, your local waste management company has a big role to play. By recycling as much as possible, they’re also helping to reuse materials and reduce the environmental and economic costs of producing more plastics, glass and paper from new raw materials.
Why recycling is a big deal
We’re in the middle of a generational and cultural shift, away from the wasteful practices of the twentieth century. The throwaway culture with its lack of concern for environmental pollution has been replaced by a concern for sustainability. Going green is a badge of pride for people across generations.
Taking their cue from the general population, businesses too are going green and organic as far as possible. While it may be easy to be cynical and consider this an exercise in rebranding, a lot of this change is genuine. Especially when it comes to recycling waste materials, every little bit makes difference. That’s why waste management companies are at the forefront of the movement for sustainability.
Trash versus recycling
On average, one person generates four pounds of litter a day. And to clean it all up, $11.5 billion is spent each year just picking up litter. This is not only messy, it’s also wasteful. Plastic bags wash into rivers and steams where they can harm the wildlife. When they finally make it out to the ocean, they disintegrate into small pieces that are ingested by marine life. The oceans are literally choking on our garbage.
It would be a simple matter to recycle instead. It’s cheaper by far, costing $30 per ton to recycle trash as compared to $50 per ton to send it as trash to a landfill. Recycling materials like paper, glass and plastic also reduces the need for producing more. Paper and paperboard account for 27% of municipal solid waste. They could be recycled and given useful lives again. The yard waste and food that account for another 28% could be composted, producing good organic fertilizer.
Recycling comes to you
Recycling and waste management services are now widely available. More than 87% of all Americans now have access to some kind of recycling programs, whether it’s curbside pick up or drop off. With curbside and recycling trash pick, dumpster rentals, and recycling programs, it’s easy to begin sorting waste.
Homeowners, business owners and commercial property managers will find their trash output drastically reduced the moment they begin recycling. And the feeling of knowing that you’re doing your bit to stop or even just slow down environmental pollution means that next time you go to the park, you can look those pesky ducks begging for crumbs straight in the eye. You’ve made the world a little safer for them too.
While most people only see the recycling industry at the time of pick up, waste management can include as many as 20 different industries. The “3 Rs” is the waste hierarchy, namely reduce, reuse and recycle, are becoming a way of life for many people. And it’s not a moment too soon.