By Rosie Hatzilabrou for SUST 201 online
Recycling is such an important part of living sustainably and everything and anything that can possibly be recycled should be. It is great to see that many people, the general population as well as government officials, have started taking it more seriously. Every day, most households, work places, stores, and restaurants have the option of taking part in this great movement toward a more sustainable future. Because recycling is a fairly new concept to some, there are many who have not been educated on how it is done properly, which can negate the value of their recycling efforts.
Born and raised into a family of hard-core recyclers, I would literally get yelled at by my father for throwing away things that I thought were trash, or what looked like plastic to me, but was really not. I honestly had to be “taught” the proper way of recycling — what goes in what bin and what simply belongs in the trash. Sometimes I would not be sure and have to wait until my father came home to ask him. Finally I did some research myself when I realized I was more ignorant on the topic than I thought.
This whole recollection was brought about after reading a recent article in the Daily Herald entitled “Plastic Bags Don’t Belong in Recycling” by Betty Grenda from Mount Prospect, a northwest suburb of Chicago near Schaumburg. The article discussed the issues she is having in her neighborhood due to the fact that many are wasting space, as well as people’s time and efforts, by putting the wrong things (in her case, plastic bags) into recycling bins. She mentions that the directions on recycling are printed on the original recycling brochure and on Mt. Prospect’s website, but believes the rules need to be reiterated to the people of the community.
Betty’s case is just one example, but I am sure, even if only from personal experience, that this goes on in many neighborhoods, if not all. It is important that we are not making misguided efforts in trying to help the environment and it is a shame that many think they are recycling when a lot is just being dumped back into landfills. If it is important to you to recycle, than please take the little extra needed time to make sure it is being done properly!
Submitted 6 April 2012