Essay on Recycling

This essay has a total of 1230 words and 6 pages.


People Need to Recycle In the United States
People Need to Recycle In the United Sates, where the population is inflated every year.
The amount of space for landfills decreases every day. The need for recycling should not
be asked, it should just be done out of habit. Everyone in America needs to recycle, to
help the landfill problem, help the environment, and help produce new products from
recycled goods. In America there is about two hundred and eight tons of residential and
commercial trash generated a year, that is 4.3 pounds per person a day (Prichard 1A). This
is an overwhelming amount of trashed produced yearly. When people recycle this number can
be drastically cut. But many people do not practice and use recycling. Consumers and
businesses should use the three R’s; recycle, reuse, and recharge (Prichard 1A). Consumers
and businesses are producing more garbage than ever before. As a result, we are rapidly
running out of landfill space. In 1979 America had close to 18,500 landfills, and by 1991
that number was nearly cut in half (Prichard 10A). Kentucky, Ohio, Minnesota, and Illinois
will reach their maximum limit on landfills by the year 2005 (Prichard 10A). This whole
garbage problem has forced us to try other options. Many of these options have been very
unsuccessful. People have tried burning their garbage, which only causes pollution to the
environment. Some states even resorted to dropping their trash in the ocean, only to have
the very same trash float ashore later. Dumping it on other states leads to feuding
neighbors. Indiana passed a law to block imports of out-of-state trash, but a federal
court ruled the law illegal (Prichard 10A). Instead of trying to find new ways to dump our
trash, we need to find better ways to recycle it and save space in our landfills. In the
1970s there was a push to use recycled paper. A worker at a paper factory in Illinois
states, “Then the issue was saving a tree. But trees are replaced. We plant them, we cut
them, and we plant them again” (Pendleton). The worker also said, “The problem now is the
landfill situation, I think this one is going to stick” (Pendleton). By 1991 thirty-nine
states and hundreds of local governments have passed laws or solutions requiring the
purchase of recycled paper. According to Henry Miller, vice president of a paper mill
said, “By volume, thirty-eight percent of solid waste in a landfill is paper and
cardboard” (Pendleton). That paper and cardboard, if recycled could have produced that
much paper or other products and it would have cleared up thirty-eight percent of many
landfills across America. One major way to get people involved with recycling is the
environment perspective. Not only would the landfills be cut down the environment gains a
lot by having people recycle. So what do the states do to keep the environment clean? They
enact laws against litter and waste. One way is the state requiring the deposit on beer
and soft-drink bottles and cans (Prichard 8A). In those states, millions of bottles and
cans that once were left on beaches, tossed in rivers and parks or thrown along the
highways are being taken back to stores instead for a refund. A twenty-year old student
from Michigan said, “Throwing away cans, is like throwing away money to me” (Prichard 8A).
These state laws must be working if people have this attitude towards recycling cans and
bottles. States with deposit laws have found that providing consumers with an incentive to
return bottles and cans is one of the simplest, least expensive ways to clean up litter
and reduce trash going into costly landfills (Prichard 8A). Researchers have found this
way of reducing landfills and encouraging recycling very worthwhile. New York passed a
refund law, mainly due to all the liter and trash people throw in the city’s parks and
streets. The amount of trash going into landfills from the city of New York City alone
reduced by 550 tons per day (Prichard 8A). That is a lot of recycled cans and bottles that
did not have to see the landfill. The same law was placed in Vermont and Connecticut.
These two states also showed amazing results. The litter in Vermont was reduced by
thirty-five percent and in Connecticut the litter in parks was reduced by fifty percent
(Prichard 8A). Laws on beverage containers alone will not solve our trash problems. We
need recycling programs for old batteries, used motor oil, paper, plastics, metals, and
glass. According to environmental groups and government agencies, if bottle laws were in
effect in all states: litter could be reduced to thirty-five percent, energy savings in
one year could equal the electricity used by a city the size of Milwaukee for four years,
and taxpayers could save thirty million dollars a year (Prichard 8A). It is a fact, bottle
laws work. Just go to a state without a bottle law and then go to one with a law, the
difference is amazing. In a survey by USA TODAY, most consumers in those states say they
do not mind carting cans and bottles back to the stores in return for cleaner roads and
parks (Prichard 8A). Recycling helps reduce landfills, clean up the environment, and it
also takes those recycled goods to produce new products. Plastic, the one time enemy of
many environmental groups, because of its long lasting, non-biodegradable nature, may
actually be a friend after all (Lipkin 49). Plastic companies are now trying to devise new
uses for old plastics and developing biodegradable ones. Plastic containers like milk jugs
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