US Cities Killing Recycling Programs : ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE : Science Times


Mar 20, 2019 07:55 AM EDT

Recycling Crisis

USA — For most Americans, recycling has become a part of their daily routine. In fact, it has become second nature that the moment they have to make a choice of which items to buy in the grocery, they think of going for the brand whose packaging can be recycled. More importantly, Americans support recycling practically because it is mandated by the law in several states like in San Diego, Pittsburg and New York to name a few.

What’s even better is that people in other cities where recycling is not mandated by law also made it a mainstream practice in the community. In fact, it has become a virtue boasted of many fashion brands like H&M and GAP. These are brands that make recycling a part of their marketing campaign. They talk about how they recycle old clothes and produce new ones out of it.

The problem is not that people don’t practice recycling or that it is not trendy. Rather, the problem is that recycling has become more difficult to do. China is one of the world’s biggest importer of materials for recycling and their self-imposition to limit the amount of recyclable materials that comes in the country. They stopped accepting recyclable materials as part of their bigger effort to reduce pollution in the country.

As a result, the recycling program of the world that has been in place for years is now crumbling. Countries like the US don’t know how they could get rid of all the recyclable materials they have consumed. Many of the cities don’t know what to do with their recyclable goods.

The New York Times recently released news concerning the local recycling programs that govern most recycling goods in the US cities. In Florida, Pennsylvania and Tennessee have reportedly been ending all their recyclables to landfills while other cities are burning theirs instead. The treasures of California expressed in an interview, “The recycling movement in the US is in crisis. We don’t know what to do.”

The University of Georgia made an estimate of how much trash will be left in the US now as an effect of the ban implemented by China. The US alone is looking at 111 million metric tons of trash and these have nowhere to go by 2030. Sadly, there is no need to look at a decade from now as the effects of the recycling ban of China can be felt now. Tons of recyclable paper and plastics are just piling up and the problem has just started.

Recycling is a practice that helps cut down the waste that goes to landfills. It is also one of the most effective ways to save the natural resources of the earth. The fact that materials made of wood, water and minerals are being reused, the resource has become a form of cultivation to help preserve what is left of the natural resources, as said in the note released by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

If countries around the world are sick of accepting trash from first world countries like the US, what would be the next best option? Burning and Burying of garbage may work now, but until when will this Band-Aid solution be enough? Will global recycling programs still be fixed?

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