Recycling a Great Solution

Recycling saves energy, preserves natural resources, reduces greenhouse-gas emissions, and keeps toxins from leaking out of landfills. Marc Gunther, a writer and speaker on business and the environment. Marc Gunther, The End of Garbage, Fortune, March 14, 2007. http money.cnn In 2007, for example, the EPA reported that the nation recycled and composted 85 million tons (77 million metric tons), or 33.4 percent of all municipal solid wastes a vast increase from 1960, when only 6.4 percent was...

Garbage Challenges in Developing Countries

The problems of waste management are different for the developing world. Because the economies of developing countries are usually not as robust as the economies of countries such as the United States, people in these poorer countries tend to buy fewer products with less packaging, and they produce less waste than Americans or residents of other industrialized nations. On the A child scavenges on a dump in Manila, in the Philippines. Many developing countries have problems disposing of wastes....

The Growth of Recycling

Due to Americans' growing acceptance of recycling, over the last several decades the amount of waste recycled has increased each year in the United States. One by one, cities and municipalities have voluntarily implemented convenient curbside recycling programs, and laws have required the use of recycled content in certain manufacturing processes. One of the first curbside collection programs was established in 1973 in California. It collected mostly newspapers and other kinds of paper, but as...

The Limits of Recycling

Despite the benefits of recycling programs and their growing popularity, however, recycling has not solved the garbage problem. It is undisputed, for example, that recycling has not reduced the total amount of municipal wastes being generated by Americans. As conservationist Helen Spiegelman acknowledges, Even after the enormous exertions of America's cities and towns to recycle bottles, cans, newspapers and other consumer products, seventy percent of the products we buy are still going to...

The Birth of Modern Recycling Programs

Even though recycling was commonly practiced by all households during pre-industrial ages, large-scale recycling programs did not arise until the twentieth century. The first organized programs were created in the 1930s and 1940s, when a worldwide depression limited people's ability to purchase new goods and the outbreak of World War II dramatically increased demands for certain materials. Throughout the war, goods such as nylon, rubber, and various metals were recycled and reused to produce...

Recycling Not a Universal Good

Recycling is a manufacturing process, and therefore it too has an environmental impact. . . . Recycling changes the nature of pollution, sometimes increasing it and sometimes decreasing it. Daniel K. Benjamin, economics professor and former adviser to President Ronald Reagan. Daniel K. Benjamin, Eight Great Myths of Recycling, Property and Environment Research Center, September 2003, p. 17. www.perc.org pdfrps28.pdf. The largest categories of plastic wastes include containers (for foods,...

Waste Management in Europe

Garbage Containers Europe

Most developed countries face the same problems with trash as the United States. In fact, some areas of the globe are way ahead of the United States in trash technology and policies. Europe, for example, due to its dense population, began running out of landfill space long ago. Many European countries turned to incinerators, but this method has become increasingly disfavored because it produces too much air pollution and hazardous waste. As a result, some countries in Europe have begun...

The Recycling Content Symbol

Zinc Recycle Symbol

The internationally recognized U.S. symbol for recycling three arrows traveling in a triangle was developed in the 1970s. During this period, many Americans were becoming concerned about the environment, and a producer of paper products the Container Corporation of America decided to publicize the fact that its products were manufactured using content that was recycled or recyclable. As part of this promotion, the company sponsored a nationwide art contest for a design that would signify...