On the other hand, however, we tend to let good habits slide if ease and convenience subside or in the cases below, if we don’t truly understand what it really means to recycle like we can or should.
Here are some common excuses give by people as to why they don’t recycle:
Excuse: Recycling costs too much.
- Well-run recycling programs cost less than landfills and incinerators.
- The more people recycle, the cheaper it gets.
- Recycling helps families save money, especially in communities with pay-as-you-throw programs.”* “Pay as you throw (PAYT) (also called trash metering, unit pricing, variable rate pricing, or user-pay) is a usage-pricing model for disposing of municipal solid waste. Users are charged a rate based on how much waste they present for collection to the municipality or local authority.”
- “Recycling generates revenue to help pay for itself, while incineration and landfilling do not.
- The U.S. Recycling Economic Information (REI) Study is an unprecedented national study that demonstrates the importance of recycling and reuse to the U.S. economy. The REI study is very comprehensive, considering direct and indirect economic impacts.
Excuse: There are no markets for recyclables.
- Prices may fluctuate as they do for any commodity, but domestic and international markets exist for all materials collected in curbside recycling programs.
- Demand for recycled materials has never been greater. American manufacturers rely on recyclables to produce many of the products on your store shelves.
- By the year 2005, the value of materials collected for recycling will surpass $5 billion per year.
- All new steel products contain recycled steel.
- Over 1,400 products and 310 manufacturers use post-consumer plastics.
- In 1999, recycled paper provided more than 37% of the raw material fiber needed by U.S. paper mills.
Excuse: We are already recycling as much as we can.
- Many easily recycled materials are still thrown away. For example, 73% of glass containers, 77% of magazines, 66% of plastic soda and milk bottles, and 45% of newspapers are not recycled.
- We are nowhere near our potential, especially if manufacturers make products easier to recycle.
- The national recycling rate is 28%. The U.S. EPA has set a goal of 35% and many communities are recycling 50% or more.
- Canada set a goal of 50% diversion of solid waste from disposal by the year 2000. The province of Nova Scotia exceeded that goal through such steps as banning compostable organic materials from landfills and providing curbside collection of all organic materials for composting.
If we are educated on recycling costs, methods and benefits, we all win in the end.
For more information on recycling visit www.wasteawaygroup.com.