Recycling definitely requires a certain amount of dedication and effort, but I definitely believe that it is not simply worth it, but that it has become absolutely necessary. We have become a disposable society. From cups and plates to cell phones and laptops, we dispose of everything in the names of convenience and technological advancement. Every item that we use and discard requires new resources from our planet to produce. Most of us do not think this way, but our planetary resources are indeed finite. Each item that we throw away ends up either in a landfill, incinerated, or in the Earth’s lakes, rivers and oceans. Each person in the United States generates an average of 1.4 tons of waste each year. Landfills are full and leak toxins into the ground and groundwater. Waste that is incinerated creates huge amounts of pollution and much of our waste is exported to other countries.
Recycling takes already used resources and uses them again. The benefits of recycling are numerous. Recycling creates jobs and many new products. Recycling saves energy and natural resources such as trees, metallic ores, coal, and oil. Recycling prevents much waste from being thrown into landfills and polluting our water and ground. Zero waste, the recycling of all materials back into nature or the marketplace in a manner that protects human health and the environment is a feasible goal and ought to be considered our moral obligation to future generations.
Jason Speegle is the director of the Green Team.
I feel like we should focus on getting renewable energy first before we work on recycling. As of right now, I feel like a lot of people recycle because it is simple to do as far as just sorting their recyclables. But I think that the impact would be much larger with recycling if we focused on renewable resources.
Recycling is needed, but I also feel like there is too much emphasis put on it. I feel that they need to focus more on the technology behind it that way there are no carbon emissions released, that way the plants used for recycling can run themselves.
There are also a lot of problems with recycling old electronics. When people think of recycling they think of plastic bottles, paper and aluminum cans. For example, a lot of people get a new phone and just throw their old phone away. People don’t associate recycling with electronics.
Recycling is also useful, but I think there are more effective ways to go green. I do, for the most part, try to make sure that if I drink a can of soda or something of that sort that the can gets into the campus recycling.
Andy Stanfield is a sophomore majoring in history.