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What Is Recycling - Make Recycling Mandatory

Essay by   •  July 17, 2011  •  Term Paper  •  1,198 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,774 Views

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Since the beginning of the 21st century, Americans have started to become more aware of the waste they produce and the damage they are doing to Earth. People everywhere are making a conscious effort to reduce their waste and, more importantly, recycle. But still it may not be enough, because with every new idea you can find a skeptic. So to protect our planet and ensure its health, the United States needs to instill laws that make recycling mandatory, because the steps they have taken thus far are not enough. Many Americans do not take recycling seriously because they are not well informed and do not consider it a pressing matter. But recycling has numerous benefits as opposed to not recycling, which means letting our limited resources diminish until we have nothing left.

It is usually a challenge to make an intelligent decision on a matter one knows little about. How can Americans be expected to recycle if they do not know what it does for our planet? Instilling recycling laws in the United States will force people to address the issue and be a part of repairing it. Recycling programs, though expensive at first, are ultimately an efficient, cost effective, and environmental sound means of reducing waste in our environment.

What is Recycling?

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (2011), "recycling involves the separation and collection of materials for processing and remanufacturing into new products, and the use of products to complete the cycle." (p 1)

What Can Be Recycled?

Communities required to recycle must have curbside collection programs for at least three materials from the following list:

* Clear glass containers

* High-grade office paper

* Newsprint

* Corrugated paper (cardboard)

* Aluminum cans

* Steel and bi-metallic cans

* Plastics

Most curbside recycling programs collect four or more of these materials. Also, leaves twigs, and garden trimmings must be separated for composting (a process that produces mulch). These materials take up valuable space in landfills and can interfere with the burning process in waste incinerators. (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (2011). Now that a brief history has been provided the direction of this claim will now focus on why there should be a law passed immediately to force recycling in our country.

There are many reasons why we should recycle; these are the main advantages, conservation, energy saving, and reduce pollution. Conservation is the first on the list; we will begin with that advantage and follow through to the end of the list with landfill reduction. We need to act quickly and take advantage of existing solutions to prevent irreversible damage to our planet. Natural ecosystems provide significant opportunities to cut emissions dramatically and to preserve the adaptive potential of our biosphere. Do you know one way to help conservation? It can be done by recycling. Conservation is becoming an increasingly important recycling issue. "It is estimated that (in the U.S.A.) around 40 million newspapers are cut down each day, resulting in the equivalent of around half a million trees ending up in landfills each and every day." (

Moving on to the second reason why there should be a law passed the forces this country to recycle. Energy saving is important if we are to reduce the future effects of global warming. There are many steps you can take to reduce the effects of global warming which are unrelated to the use of natural energy sources. Many of these steps are easy, affordable and can start at home. Something as basic and simple as regular recycling can have a significant impact on the environment while saving energy during the manufacture of new products. "Carbon emissions are a direct result of not only heavy industry and transport but also the average



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