North Carolinians recycle 85.4 pounds of materials a second (RE3 2017). This recycling saves 75 percent more energy than making the material with raw materials but we throw away more than 752 pounds of trash a second. That's almost nine times more than we recycle (RE3 2017). This affects the environment because of how much trash we throw away instead of recycling it which will then affect us because of all the pollution.
We are interested in this topic because when we walk around wake county we see trash all over the place. When you are driving you see trash scattered around the highway or when you are walking in downtown Raleigh you see trash on the sidewalk and on the road. Instead of recycling that piece of paper it's now polluting the earth. We should all care about this issue because we are polluting the environment and we could all help with recycling a bit more and if we all don't do that we could help save thousands of trees and water. According to re3 , “only half of aluminum cans are recycled despite a statewide disposal ban on the material. Aluminum and glass companies rely heavily on secondary materials for their product, and many plastics manufacturers also depend on recovered material.” (RE3 2017). This means that if we recycle more aluminum we could be saving thousands of raw materials. Also recycling lets other people have jobs. “Recycling in North Carolina is a job creator and a growing part of our state’s economy. Recycling employs more than 15,000 North Carolinians and recycling jobs have increased about 48 percent in the last ten years.” (RE3 2017). So we are also helping our community with giving other people jobs. Recycling helps out with a lot of things.
Recycling saves energy and by using recycled material we save on energy consumption. As more and more people stop recycling or don’t do it at all negative things could happen to the community. By throwing everything away and not reducing, reusing, or recycling them it can cause the landfill to build up and start to smell horrible. All of these things could end up being toxic from all the harmful chemicals coming from styrofoam and also destroying habitats. Without recycling it could pollute the air. This means bad things are put into the air which can affect the air that we breath. Burning trash is a massive source of air pollution. About 2.9 million people die each year from air pollution, but recycling is one way we can stop air pollution.
If this problem is not taken care of the soil could be affected by the harmful chemicals and destroy habitats or even pollute the air that we breath. This could affect our natural environment such as habitat destruction, harmful chemical, and global warming. All of those things are caused by deforestation from un recycled material.
Recycling is a big problem in our community but people are trying to help recycle more often. One program, Feed The Bin (Dunstan, 2015), is a school recycling program in Wake County. It's purpose is to have more materials recycled in schools and provide students with education regarding waste and recycling. Since 2004, over 175 schools have and still are participating in the program. More than 10 million pounds of paper have been recycled through this program since it began. It also won an award for “Best School Recycling Program in the U.S.” This is because the students are excited about recycling. Some schools hold contests to see who recycles the most so the competition gets big. In other schools the students get to make advertisements like newspapers about recycling. The stuff that they get to do motivates them to want to recycle.
Wake county (Walston, 2015) is also playing a part in recycling. Everyday they go around and collect recycling from different locations throughout the county. Without them we would have to drop off our recycling which would be very inconvenient. If we didn't have the county to help out, we would recycle a lot less so they are helping us out a lot more than we think.
Even though there are programs and people trying to help recycle more, there is still a need for help in our community. According to re3 (2017), with everyone trying to help, we still throw away nine times more trash than we do recycle. Also things that should be able to be recycled such as construction paper, pizza boxes, and paper towels can still not be recycled. These things should be recycled but it's against the rules of Wake county (Wake County 2016). We need for these materials to be recycled because otherwise they are just going to the trash when they have the potential to be recycled.
To help with this issue we could set up more recycling bins and collectors around the school. These bins would be able to take everything instead of the Feed The Bin program that doesn't take bottles, construction paper, cardboard, and other commonly recyclable items. These bins will be placed in the classrooms so teachers can supervise what is being placed in the bins. These bins will be set out for the last couple weeks of school and over those weeks we will collect the bags of recycling. At the end of the year we will take them to 2405 Wade Avenue - 27607(City Of Raleigh, 2017). Our goal is to end with 125 full bags of recyclables. To see the whole plan see our Action Plan.
Walston, Stephon, “Waste and Recycling.” Drop Off Options For Residents. August 6, 2015. Math 27, 2017
Cashwell, Heather, “The Facts.” RE3. March 28, 2017
Dunstan, Rebecca, “Feed The Bin School Recycling Program.” February 9, 2015. March 28, 2017
Solid Waste Management Division, “Waste And Recycling Information Guide.” Wakegov.com. March 28, 2017
City of Raleigh, 2017 <https://www.raleighnc.gov/services/content/SolidWaste/Articles/DOCenters.html>