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Recycling: It's Worth the Trouble

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Recycling: It's Worth the Trouble You see recycling everywhere. But does it work? The basic principle of recycling is sound enough: "If we all recycle," they say, "we'll take pressure off the planet, and we'll save our money, our health and our environment." But when you get down to the specifics, it's not always clear if we're making the savings or not. In fact we even hear that it may all be a waste of time. So what's the truth? Is recycling worth it? What does it have going for it? Today I'd like to look at three of the areas where we are all likely to have run into the recycling issue. And as we look at each of those areas, I want to answer these questions: What are the problems being tackled through recycling? And secondly: how well is recycling managing to solve those problems? So let's begin with the recycling that goes on in public places Schools, colleges, offices all have recycling programs. You see them everywhere: the aluminum can recycling boxes, the bottle bins, the paper recycling carts. ...read more.


On top of that, recycling can mean business. Companies all over the United States and around the world depend on recycled materials for their products. Just take a look at the "Recyclers World" web site, and you'll see what I mean. Trading in recycled material is big business. So when you do the sums, and I mean the overall sums, you'll find that dropping your trash off at that bottle bin really does pay off. Another familiar subject to all of us, when we talk about recycling, is plastic. We keep hearing about how bad plastic is. Why is that? Well, the root of the problem is that the stuff just won't rot. Plastic takes thousands of years to degrade. And that means that every bit of plastic that winds up in a landfill is going to be there for a long time. Now you might hear arguments that the problem isn't as bad as it once was. And that's true, as far as it goes. For example, you might hear that most packaging is 20 or 30 percent lighter than it was ten years ago, and that many plastics have gotten so thin, they're not worth a whole lot in terms of recycling. ...read more.


Recycling an aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television set for three hours. Third, you can look after the planet's lungs. Every Sunday, the United States wastes nearly 90% of the recyclable newspapers. This wastes about 500,000 trees. One tree can filter up to 60 pounds of pollutants from the air each year. So by recycling your newspaper, you can help keep those trees breathing. And best of all, you can save money, because every time you recycle, you reduce the size of your trash bill. In so many ways around the home, recycling is worth the effort. So it's a fact: recycling creates greater economic value than "throwing it all away." In some cases recycling has proven to be the least-expensive waste management method for cites and towns. Every ton of newspapers recycled and every ton of aluminum saved from dumping creates jobs, expands manufacturing, and reduces operating costs for our businesses and households. There's no doubt about it: It might not always appear to stack up on paper, but when you do the total sums and factor in all the intangibles, there's no doubt: Recycling can do a lot to save us money, save our surroundings and make a positive difference to our lives. ...read more.

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