Are Your Recyclables Being Sent to the Landfill?

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Earth 911 posted this insightful exposé last month, claiming that while some of the City of Chicago’s recycled material “found its way to a new life,” much of it was actually too “contaminated with broken glass and food residue (organics), rendering the stuff useless,” and in the end was sent to the landfill.

The story raises important questions re: the effectiveness of single-stream recycling programs, and sheds light on a bigger issue to all manners of recycling: collection versus actual recovery. Much of our data about recycling, the author notes, tracks materials collected “from the curb,” not materials diverted from landfills.

While we can indeed work together to refine our recycling systems, we can also work together to promote reusing before recycling – a philosophy in.gredients is attempting to introduce to consumers. Reduce, reuse, then recycle!

(image via: Washington State University)

Written by Brian Nunnery

August 16, 2011 at 10:50 am

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