It’s hard to believe that there are places in this country with no recycling options available to them. It seems to me that recycling is a basic service. It should exist everywhere, and sometimes it seems like it is everywhere.
Open up the newspaper and you read about plastic bag recycling programs, electronics recycling programs coming to your area, Terracycle programs starting up, and of course new curbside recycling programs. Why then, with all of this publicity, are there so many counties and towns without any recycling options?
Consider this image that many of us have seen before. Roughly 40% of our waste materials are recyclable in typical curbside or drop-off programs. Another 24% is readily compostable, and many of the textiles that make up 8% are reusable, or recyclable. This gives us 72% of our waste that is recyclable or readily compostable.
Without doing too much math, I would think that if all of the people in the 86% of the population with recycling available to them were recycling and composting just 50% of that 72% we could increase our diversion rate tremendously.Let’s start a movement! If you don’t have acceptable recycling options in your area, contact your local officials, get a petition going, and show your local government that residents do care and are committed to using resources responsibly.