In this day and age, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a person that doesn’t believe in the benefits of recycling. They are numerous and mostly indisputable: recycling helps to conserve natural resources like minerals, water, and timber; recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions, recycling reduces the overall waste destined for landfills or combustion facilities; recycling aids in the prevention of pollution by lessening the need for raw material collection; and of course, recycling saves energy.
But unfortunately, the recycling process is still hindered by a number of challenges; apparently the nearly universal recognition of these important benefits isn’t quite enough.
Here are major three things holding back the recycling industry, and some suggestions on what we can do to fix them.
Recycling services aren’t created equal; services are far more extensive in bigger cities than they are in rural areas. Recycling can also be very expensive in some communities. And not all cities are being serviced adequately, either. In 2013, they had a long waiting list of people who had expressed interest in recycling, but couldn’t even procure the necessary bins. Thankfully, Houston made an attempt to solve this problem by building a new recycling center that efficiently sorted waste.
The best solution to the services problem is an easy one to identify: recycling programs need to be made available to everyone, no matter where they live.
For many cities across the country (and certainly across the globe), recycling—although still considered important—isn’t a top priority. Communities tend to have limited funding and resources, and the most critical issues must be addressed first. When recycling concerns aren’t on the top of the list, they can easily fall by the wayside. If a community wants their recycling program to succeed, it’s going to take a lot of cooperation, insistence, and encouragement from both legislators and residents.
As we’ve already established, most people understand the importance of recycling. But amazingly, it has been estimated that at least 13 percent of the American population do not recycle at all, and roughly half of American citizens recycle on a daily basis. What’s the disconnect?
Happily, it’s probably not apathy, but a simple lack of education. Many families have admitted that although they know they should recycle, they’re not actually sure how to do it properly. Putting community-specific programs in place to educate individuals on which items can be recycled, and how they can easily separate their wastes for recycling is key.
Each of us has a responsibility to do our part to educating, encouraging, and exciting our friends, family, and community members to recycle consistently and efficiently.
If your organization would like to instate a better recycling program, contact Hazardous Waste Experts at 800-936-2311, or click here to email us. We can supply you with great resources, consultants, and a detailed step-by-step plan.