Among civilized countries, the United States produces the most garbage per person and recycles the least trash by percentage. Landfills are quickly filling up with perfectly recyclable items that people just casually throw in the trash.
New Yorkers in particular generate over 40,000 tons of waste per day. More than 2,500 garbage trucks and 7,000 sanitation employees brave our neighborhood streets to collect the trash that is largely tossed away haphazardly. New York City in particular produces a staggering 5.5 pounds of garbage per day compared to the 4.4 pounds produced nationally per capita.
Garbage collected by the fleet of trucks and sanitation workers find its way to various landfills outside of the city and even to other states like Ohio and North Carolina. Currently, the recycling rate is at a low 15%, but there are plans in place to double this effort by 2017.
By removing harmful and non-biodegradable materials from landfills, it allows for these materials to have another life and be recycled into products we can use. These materials can also be gathered to make a profit as well. Many metals collected from recycling efforts can be sold to help cover the efforts for collection.
Electronic waste collected can be repurposed, reused, and refurbished. Many of these items contain toxic materials for the environment and groundwater. Removal of these hazardous materials is essential to the future health and well-being of our environment.
Recycling is everyone’s duty and the dangers of not doing so are too serious to ignore. Join the effort and see how you can pitch in.