New Year’s Resolution
By Wendy Dew
Do you recycle? I used to. I live in a very rural area where we have no true recycling centers. My husband and I used to pile the recycling up in the garage and then once a month drive one hour to a recycling collection spot. The bins were almost always full when we got there. We would have a truck full of recycling with nowhere to go! So we gave up and stopped recycling about a year ago. Every time I throw something in the trash I know can be recycled, I feel horrible.
So, my New Year’s Resolution this year is to figure out what new opportunities there might be for me to start recycling again – likely on a smaller scale!
Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. Collecting used bottles, cans, and newspapers and taking them to the curb or to a collection facility is just the first in a series of steps that generates a host of financial, environmental, and social returns. Some of these benefits accrue locally as well as globally.
Benefits of Recycling
- Recycling protects and expands U.S. manufacturing jobs and increases U.S. competitiveness.
- Recycling reduces the need for landfilling and incineration.
- Recycling prevents pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials.
- Recycling saves energy.
- Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.
- Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals.
- Recycling helps sustain the environment for future generations.
For many communities recycling is as easy as putting out the trash. For others, like my community, it is a challenge. I believe recycling will become easier for all communities in the not too distant future. But until then, I will continue to find ways to recycle what I can. I encourage folks of all ages to do the same!
About the author: Wendy Dew has been with EPA for 14 years and is the Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator for Region 8 in Denver, Colorado.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.
Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.