“I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?”
--Robert Redford, Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985
Recycling has been around for a very long time; thousands of years to be exact. Some recycling methods then were recycling animal skins and scrap metal. Animal skins were re-used by the Indians for clothes, shoes and shelter and metal was melted down to make swords and other weapons. However, now, century’s later metal is still melted down to make things such as airplanes, cars, appliances, war weapons and much, much, more. And animal skin is ...view middle of the document...
A recycling “loop” is created when a consumer purchases a recycled item, instead of the direct line a product would normally take if simply thrown in the trash” (Palliser, 2011).
The recycling steps are collection and processing, manufacturing, and purchasing the recycled products.
Curbside at residences
Cleaned and sorted
Recycled materials are bought and sold
Converted into a product that is completely or partially made of recycled material
Newspapers, paper towels, aluminum, plastic, glass soda bottles, steel cans, and plastic laundry detergent bottles are items that often contain recycled material. Recycled materials are also being used in roadway asphalt (glassphalt), carpeting, park benches, and pedestrian bridges (EPA 2011a, and Palliser, 2011). The last step, purchasing recycled products, completes the recycling loop.
In 2009, Americans generated 243 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) and recovered 82 million tons of this material (61 million tons were recycled and 21 million tons composted) (Palliser, 2011).
MSW recycling rates, 1960 to 2009
Since the 1960’s MSW in America has increased 155 million tons. America’s municipal solid waste consists of paper and paperboards, food scraps, yard trimmings, plastics, metals, rubber, leather and textiles, wood and glass. And the...