| Understanding today's environmentally aware consumer

Recycling and composting isn’t widespread enough

For many urban centers, recycling has been part of its citizens lives for many, many years now. The green process of separating refuse and ensuring that paper, plastic and metal products can be re-used is second nature to many of us. Sure, some are still lazy and are not recycling EVERY little item that could potentially be recycled, but we’re getting there. Our efforts could always improve, from a residential point of view.

The other residential chore that will help to save the planet is composting. Many progressive cities across North America have instituted programs whereby certain food garbage is also separated and picked up. Items such as napkins, discarded food and even eggshells are put into compostable bags and picked up once a week, just as recycled items are in most cities. It’s a process that really adds up when cities get buy-in from most of their population.

But the problem is that the majority of major cities have not made recycling for businesses and composting for residences a mandatory responsibility. The result is that tons of garbage ends up in landfills every day needlessly.

We’ve all worked at or visited a workplace that doesn’t recycle. It’s maddening to think of the utter waste and environmental irresponsibility.

So when will these two wrongs be targeted by cities and be rectified? It’s hard to say. But the first step is for everyone to speak up and be heard. Bombard council meetings. Write letters to city hall. Force the local media to address these issues.

We’re talking about our planet, here. It’s a privilege to be living on earth, not a right. And we have to do more to protect our way of life and that of our children.

Cities are always thinking about their bottom line and might stonewall recycling and composting activists with the proposed price associated with adding these services to the mix. But the truth is that costs aren’t always an issue. Some cities with robust recycling pickup services have great relationships with the private sector, with private firms taking the lead on picking up recyclable materials for their own purposes.

And as for the cost of adding composting pickup services, it’s a fact that cities are charged based on the amount of garbage they have to add to landfills. Adding composting services means reducing the amount of garbage a city has to dump, thus reducing costs in the long run.

So you see, we really have no excuse here. We MUST do a better job of getting in a renewable frame of mind. But it’s up to all of us. Let’s turn up the pressure on local government to put the planet first.  ^MR

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There are 2 Comments to this article

Mike Poynton says:

Agreed, Matthew. Here’s some more on solutions to the problem from 5gyres.org.


Matthew Ross says:

It’s frustrating to an extent. We have the capabilities. We know all of us need to do a better job of recycling and composting. And yet, we’re dragging our collective feet.

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