Reusing for a Brighter Future

As you glance at your watch, you find that it’s almost time to start heading for work. After dumping the newspaper that you had been reading into the garbage can beside you, you rush to your car and drive to the nearest convenience store to pick up your daily dose of Diet Coke. After consuming your beverage, you dump the empty plastic bottle along with the thin shopping bag it came in. After work, you pull into a gas station to fill up your close-to-empty tank and grumble at the high prices. Purchasing another snack while throwing away the wrapper and shopping bag, you find that the tax has risen and even all of the prices are a bit higher than before. To prevent this conflict from arising, communities should enforce recycling programs which help the economy, preserve the environment, and benefit the inhabitants.

Countries are largely based on economics and many people don’t know where recycling fits in. Not understanding the facts, many people will fall victim to propaganda and will develop a belief that recycling is an expensive business. When managed successfully, a recycling program can become well balanced and easily pay for itself. A study by the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission found that recycling added about $18.5 billion in value to the economies of twelve states and Puerto Rico. In fact, by using the recycling program set up by the Council on the Environment of New York City, the city has netted $17.5 million from recycling paper alone. City inhabitants still export wastes, however, and the council has found that it cost taxpayers $290 million in 2007 to transport the wastes. That price is expected to rise $5.7 million in 2008 if recycling programs are not enforced. While landfills are constantly eating away the money that communities continue to poor into them, recycling programs can help create profits. As cities purchase recyclables to sell when markets are doing well, the demand for recycled goods increases and the price for the objects lowers, thus creating a stable economy for the community that will bring in more money than it costs. Those who have chosen the correct decision to recycle their wastes will benefit from the lower costs.

One of the main reasons communities are considering recycling their waste is to preserve the environment and improve their populations’ health while saving energy. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council 50% of the Earth’s forests are gone, and up to 95% of the original forest area in the United States has been cut down. Recycling materials reduces the need to damage forests, wetlands, rivers, and other natural habitats, protecting wildlife and biodiversity. Turning trees into paper uses more water than any other industrial process in the United States, dumping billions of gallons of wastewater contaminated with pollutants, such as chlorinated dioxin, each year into rivers, lakes, and streams. Paper recycling mills don’t pollute the water as much and almost always use less of it. With so many incinerators spewing air pollutants and harmful emissions into the air, seriously threatening the health of the communities, it’s a relief to know that recycling reduces the need for them. Landfills also become a minority, reducing the toxic pollution that escapes from them and leaches into the air and groundwater. If communities enforce recycling programs, the 36% of all methane emissions in the United States that landfills are responsible for will decrease. Those who do not consider the entire situation come to believe that recycling uses more energy than it saves. By taking the energy that is used to cut down trees, transport them, turn them into paper, and transport the new paper to businesses into effect, recycling actually does save more energy than simply creating new products. This goes for all materials including natural resources. When recycling an object, it is reprocessed and transported to businesses to be resold, skipping many energy-thirsty steps.

The community in general is another topic of concern for those who do not fully understand recycling programs. While many mistaken people fear for garbagemen’s jobs, recycling is employing 1.1 million workers nationwide according to the National Recycling Coalition. To ensure the protection of the health of the people, recycling reduces the need for incinerators, which are frequently located in urban neighborhoods. By cutting down on how many harmful emissions these disruptive factories spew out, the serious threat of the health of the community is greatly reduced. With healthy people working in local recycling plants and spending money on recycled products, the community and its people benefit from the many advantages.

So the next time you fold your newspaper over the trash can, walk a little further and separate it in the recycling bin. Take a moment to rinse out the Diet Coke bottle and recycle it with other reusable wastes. Just taking those few extra steps can help the community lower costs, preserve the environment, and even help yourself and your neighbors. Get the most out of the earth and reuse all that you can. It’s that simple.