A couple of years ago, my daughter's elementary school class went on a field trip to the local recycling center. I came along as one of several parent chaperones. I was very interested in seeing the place.
Why, it goes to the local recycling center!
Needless to say, the kids found it totally fascinating. So did I.
After watching all the conveyor belts take stuff to and fro, we were escorted into a meeting room and our heads were filled with factoids.
|Recycled cans, compressed and stacked|
This data all come from the EPA.
On a more positive note, about a hundred million people in the United States now practice some sort of recycling every single day. This is good. But recycling, in and of itself, is not enough; it will not end our dependence on landfills and incinerators.
The goal promoted by Eco-cycle is Zero Waste. This is laudable. Discarded stuff, they argue, should be seen as a valuable resource. "A pile of 'trash' represents jobs, financial opportunity, and raw material for new products," they declare.
"Zero waste is a philosophy and a design principle for the 21st Century; it is not simply about putting an end to landfilling ... it heralds fundamental change."
Like the rest of the world, my town has a long way to go before fully embracing this fundamental change. Recycling is big here, but we have a town dump, too. To say nothing of litter: the crushed cups and cans, fast food wrappers, cigarette butts, and on and on.