What’s In Our Trash

I read a very interesting fact today on the EPA’s website: paper and yard waste account for the largest share of the municipal waste stream, and much of this can be recycled directly or composted.

This made me do a double take. Really!?!! Of all the trash thrown away, not recycled, but thrown in the trash, the majority of it is paper and yard waste. The reason why I found this fact so alarming is because both can be recycled. As for yard waste, I don’t understand why it is thrown away. Put it in a pile in your yard, let it decompose and use it as fertilizer in the Spring. You can save time and money going to a store and buying a chemical fertilizer for your yard the next year. We all know paper is fairly easy to recycle and most cities offer paper recycling.

I’m not sharing this information to make you feel guilty about sending a card in the mail or using a notepad over your iPad, but it should make you think twice about all the paper your office prints and then throws in the trash because no one ever set up a recycling program. It should make you think about recycling your wrapping paper and boxes on Christmas day instead of throwing it in the trash. In summary, everyone can do something to make a difference. Of course it’s easy to recycle the magazines from your house when you have paper recycling picked up with your trash every week. It’s not always easy to go out of your way to recycle ALL your paper waste, but it should be done because our trash system should not be mostly comprised of material that can be recycled. It is an embarrassing fact about our country that can and should be changed.

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