This is urgent: the majority of recyclables in the United States have to be thrown away. Several non-profit sites, GrownNYC.org to name one, point out that eighty percent of recycling in the USA is thrown away because of contamination. With contamination, recyclables cannot be processed into new and clean material. Here is a list of the most common recyclable materials: paper, recyclable paper plates, recyclable drinking cups, plastic bottles, jugs and jars, and cardboard. If a pizza box has grease on it, it cannot be recycled. If a plastic bottle still has soda or juice in it, it cannot be recycled. Plates with food residue, napkins and drinking cups with contaminates also cannot be recycled. This is a lot that cannot be recycled!
According to the United States Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), each person contributes to seven pounds of trash per day. In 2017, there were 325.7 million people living and consuming in the United States, and that multiplied by seven equals 2279.9 million pounds per day. And these statistics just represent individual persons. The United States is one of the most robust and versatile economies in the world. Corporations and large companies currently prevail, but we have not yet taken into account how much trash is accumulated outside the individual person.
Environmentalists are encouraging that we transition to a zero-waste system. Colorado PIRG recognizes Eco-Waste as one of the largest and oldest non-profit recyclers. The human race has an attuned capacity to create and adapt. The contamination problem has produced zero waste communities as an after effect of larger waste production. We are capable of making a greater impact if we put in the work and move people to shift their recycling habits.
~Jennifer Watkins, Member of FUMC’s Green Team