May 14, 2009
By Allison Hammond BRONZE, Charlottesville, Virginia
Allison Hammond BRONZE, Charlottesville, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Recycling is a simple and practical way to protect our environment. Recyclable materials can be reused to make new goods at a much cheaper cost. Although it is cheaper to produce goods made from recycled material, some argue that it is in fact less expensive to bury waste in a landfill rather than to recycle it. Many of these goods that are recyclable are thrown away when they could easily be reused. The United States holds the title for the leading “throwaway society” in the world. The main reason that people do not recycle is simply because it is not convenient.
At one time, when A. County funded curbside pick-up, recycling was accessible and more people participated. Garbage trucks would pick up recycling on their normal routes at a slightly higher cost than before. A. County taxpayers funded part of pick-up, which was unpopular among residents. Instead, many thought the government should contribute. Curbside pick-up was established on September 15, 1993 in the county of A. However, a few years ago, this service was no longer provided in the county. This poses a problem because now county residents either will not recycle, or they will emit more gas while driving into town to recycle their goods at a center. The reason A. County no longer is provided with curbside pick-up is because of a simple negative vote by the local government. Many felt that the service was a waste of resources, however, they agreed on keeping the privilege in the city. Many environmental issues such as this seem to always appear on the back burner because of the lack of immediacy they require. Other high priority issues often receive more attention than those concerning the environment. This is a bad habit to get into, because environmental damage is more often than not irreversible and could have a great effect on our community over time.

The assumed issues concerning recycling in A. County are the time and money that must be utilized in providing curbside pick-up. Transportation must be provided, employees must be hired, and there must be money that goes towards the worker’s salaries. Once the waste is picked-up, it also must be transported again to a place where the goods can turned into new items. However, these statements are invalid because the curbside pick-up program ran along with the garbage collecting service, which required no extra trucks or employees. In this instance, the benefits of recycling greatly outweigh the costs. This is a difficult policy to argue because the local government did not remove all curbside pick-up services, only those in the area surrounding the main city. Residents in the county still have the ability to bring their waste into town and recycle it there.
There have been private attempts to provide recycling services to A. County residents. A. Curbside Recycling is a private organization in 20 that is currently run by three high school students. “We believe that people should have another option regarding recycling to save time, money and stress in their daily lives. We also believe that if each of us contributes in a small a way as recycling, the world can be a much better place to live.” This service provides curbside pick-up for only ten dollars a month per household. Another privately owned is a locally owned recycling service that provides to schools, businesses, homes, and apartments in A. County. These organizations, as well as other local services, provide a way for residents to conveniently recycle their goods, at their own convenience. If A. County does not regain its curbside pick-up service, hopefully more individuals will turn towards privately owned companies that will pick up their wastes. Perhaps if many groups get together, they could merge to form a larger service that would satisfy the needs of the residents.

It is difficult for these small businesses to provide such a large service to so many people without a lot of funding. Private businesses run mainly off of donations they receive or the little profit they make. This is why it is important to utilize services such as these. The fact that they do not have much extra money is a hindering factor because they cannot spend a large amount on advertising and getting their name out. This cycle is difficult to break but it is good to know that there are people out there that are trying to promote the idea of reducing, reusing, and recycling. The fact that schools are working to provide recycling options is also beneficial. Thousands of pounds of waste are thrown out each year at schools, and much of that waste is recyclable. Seventy-five percent of our waste is recyclable, which is well beyond the amount we throw away. Simply providing cans for recyclable goods in schools and other public places can drastically increase the convenience of recycling and decrease the amount of discarded recyclable waste.
It is interesting how many issues regarding the environment go unnoticed by government officials, when really these are the issues that can affect not only ours, but generations to come. The damage caused by throwing recyclable goods in landfills not only affects us, but the animals as well. The more individuals recycle, the more benefits they will receive in the long run. It is difficult for many to understand the long-term effects of issues such as this, but they can be severe and irreversible. Recycling is an important step to take towards protecting the planet as well as our own lives.

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This article has 1 comment.

Hutchinsonj said...
on Sep. 23 2009 at 3:28 pm
I aggree with you that recycling is a way to protect our enviroment. I know that some people may think that the landfill is a less expensive way for trash removal but landfills are filling up. When there will be no more room for landfills, then the next thing that people might do is burn their trash. That is just putting more pollution inside of our atmosphere. Also, you said that thousands of pounds of trash is thrown out just at schools. That could be true because our school does not recycle plastics and other materials that we use during our lunch. However, our school does recycle paper.

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