Why don’t all Townships implement a recycling program?
You will see recycling everywhere, once someone figures out how to make money from the process.
Earth Log, 1980s
Someone did and recycling started in earnest through the 1980s.
So in the beginning we were instructed to do the following when recycling…
- Wash or rinse out all cans, glass and plastic bottles
- Remove the paper labels from all cans, glass and plastic bottles
- Recycle paper labels with newspapers and paper mail tied together with cord
- Separate aluminum, glass and plastic in appropriate bins
Earth Log, 1990s
Then an anomaly occurred.
Many people in America were not rinsing out anything nor were they removing paper labels. However, they were still sorting.
Jars can’t be recycled with peanut butter at the bottom and plastic bottles can’t be recycled with paper labels still on them. The tolerance level was reaching the highest saturation percentage for the ratio of paper to plastic and food contamination to container.
So instead of “rewarding” the people for recycling correctly, the Townships didn’t re-educate the public, they threaten the public with punishment for not complying. No education or explanation given, just warnings and possible fines for not complying.
Earth Log, 2000s
China was now buying the bulk of America’s recycling inventory.
Many Townships change strategy to make more money…
Let the people recycle contaminated items and tough on China.
After all, many Townships concluded, people are lazy and don’t care. People will recycle more if they no longer had to rinse or sort. Again this would mean tough on China and more money for politicians.
Earth Log, 2010s
China communicates to the U.S. in 2012, that the paper labels on all the new plastic water bottles is at a 10% level of contamination and needs to drop to 1.5%. China is now purchasing two-thirds of America’s recyclable scrap, according to a 2011 report from the Institute of Scrap Recyclers (ISRI). The same holds true for food waste on aluminum, plastic containers, and cardboard.
Manufacturers step in to help with replacing paper labels on plastic water bottles with plastic labels and reducing the amount of plastic in every water bottle. Thus, making them weight less and hold a lower monetize value.
Most American Recycling no longer required:
- Rinsing out cans, glass and plastic bottles
- Removing the paper labels from all cans, glass and plastic bottles
- Sorting of any kind
Earth Log, 2020
China stopped buying America’s contaminated recyclable scrap.
Many Townships no longer accept plastic above the number two.
Many Townships no longer accept glass bottles! Glass was one of the first items ever to be recycled and is now thrown into Landfills.
America’s recycling scrap is piling up in warehouses and parking lots.
Sad state of affairs. We did this to ourselves because of greed.
Bill Lauto, at GoingTrueGreen.com
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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