Recycling – A Call for Change
By: Nicole Hurley
Our trash has become a growing problem not only for our environment, but for our economy as well. In America in one day, a single person creates 4.6 pounds of trash, which is more than any other country in the world. Only 1.5 pounds of this trash is recycled per person per day. This totals out to us having created 251 million tons of trash in America in one year, and we have only recycled 81 million tons of it. These statistics need to change, and one way we can do this is with mandatory recycling. Mandatory recycling can produce many different benefits, such as improving the economic development of the United States, saving the American family valued dollars, saving our natural resources, and sustaining the environment for future generations.
By converting waste into valuable products, recycling creates jobs and adds significant value to the U.S. economy. Recycling is a big industry, and in 2000 it employed over 1.1 million people and provided an annual payroll of $37 billion. This was a great help to our country’s job creation and economic development. Statistics from the National Recycling Coalition show that incinerating 10,000 tons of waste creates one job and land filling 10,000 tons of waste creates six jobs, but the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) shows that recycling 10,000 tons of waste creates 36 jobs (City of Fort Collins, 2008). More job openings would increase the productivity of our economy because people would be making money to put back into it.
Another great advantage of recycling is it can save money for your family. Some environmental groups argue that recycling will cost more money than to just dispose of garbage like we have been, but The Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense reported the benefits of recycling, showing not only that it saves energy and conserves...