A small DC-9 aircraft. More than a fully loaded 18 wheeler truck. One 56 foot long section of the new High Roller ferris wheel being constructed on the Las Vegas strip. A 40 foot long whale shark.
What do all of these things have in common? They all weigh approximately 90,000 pounds. A weight that is equivalent to the amount of garbage the average American throws away in a life time.
When you and your family ignore the use of recycling bins in your own homes and the ones available in other places, you are basically saying that you are okay with leaving a pile of garbage the size of a whale shark for the next generation. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Throwing away trash instead of recycling it makes even less sense if you realize the monetary price of these actions. Did you know that it costs $50 to send a ton of garbage to the landfill? Recycling, on the other hand, saves 40% of those costs because the recycling price for the same ton of trash is $30.
Recycling is not new and it is not something only the “tree huggers” in America should be doing. It is life sustaining habit that we need everyone in the world to understand and embrace. And, it is a practice that can start every time you purchase new products. If we reduce, for example, the number of unused items that we purchase, we are already one step closer to lowering the weight of our personal garbage waste total.
Recycling is also something that many of our ancestors practiced on a daily basis. When pioneer mothers would reuse the fabric from a worn adult suit to refashion a pair of pants and vest for a young child, they were practicing recycling. Admittedly, much of this reuse occurred as a necessary cost saving measure, but it was still recycling. What do you have in your house that can be reused? Could you, for instance, recycle most of the printer paper that you have filling our files when you clean those out. Even before sending these sheets into recycling bins, could you first print on the backside of these papers? As a result, you would also be eliminating some of the cost of the paper you need to purchase for your home.
Studies show that nearly 90% of Americans have access to drop-off paper recycling programs at a near by curb collection site. Many cities offer recycling bins that neighbors can take out on a weekly basis when they take their garbage to the end of the driveway. If you recycle in these communities you can also provide a visual example to your neighbors that you are doing your part for the next generation.