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Does Waste Management Actually Recycle? [6 Answers Found]

Drink a Coca-Cola and then throw it in the recycle bin. But it doesn’t disappear. Everything you own will one day become the property of this, the waste industry, a £250bn global enterprise determined to extract every last penny of value from what remains. It starts with materials recovery facilities (MRFs) such as this one, which sort waste into its constituent parts 😎 From there, the materials enter a labyrinthine network of brokers and traders 🤓 Some of that happens in the UK, but much of it – about half of all paper and cardboard, and two-thirds of plastics – will be loaded on to container ships to be sent to Europe or Asia for recycling 😊 Papier and cardboard are sent to mills. Glass, on the other hand, is recycled or broken down and melted like metal and plastic. Anything and everything else is either burned or sent to the landfill. [1]
The majority of people choose the second. “We are doing our best to be environmentally responsible, but we can’t afford it,” said Judie Milner, the city manager of Franklin, New Hampshire. Franklin started offering curbside recycling in 2010 and has encouraged residents to place paper, metal and plastic into their green bins. Franklin had the potential to make a profit on recycling when the programme was launched by selling it at $6 per tonne. Milner explained to me that the transfer station charges $125 per ton for recycling and $68 to incinerate. One-fifth of Franklin’s residents live below the poverty line, and the city government didn’t want to ask them to pay more to recycle, so all those carefully sorted bottles and cans are being burned. Milner hates knowing that Franklin is releasing toxins into the environment, but there’s not much she can do. “Plastic is just not one of the things we have a market for,” she’s sayingying. [2]
Image #2
Not all recycling programs work the same. Some recycle glass. Others don’t. Some plastics can be recycled but not all. And that’s not even counting all the things that say they can be recycled on the packaging but that cannot be recycled via your home recycling bin. Don’t assume you can intuit what is and isn’t accepted. Cultural osmosis and reading the labels on packaging isn’t enough. You’ll have to go ask your specific recycling provider, said Bernie Lee, a commodities research analyst with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, a trade association. Modified by Henry Barter, Krasnodar (Russia) on May 8, 2021 [3]
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This debate isn’t new. Since years, the economics and sustainability of plastic recycling are being questioned. However, the problem does not seem to be going away. According to data from the World Bank, there are already two trillion pounds worth of solid waste produced each year. This number is expected to rise to more than one trillion annually in the future. Recent research found that 20 of the top 20 petrochemical firms in the world (ex. Exxon Mobil, Dow) are responsible for approximately 55% of single-use plastic waste in the world. In the United States, this is about 50 kg per year. Gibran Nix was kind enough to highlight this. [4]
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The pros at science.howstuffworks.comAccording to the Minnesota Recycling Program, this would mean that any pizza box containing grease or cheese and put in your recycle bin will go into a landfill. Also, tiny bits of broken glass will be thrown away, particularly if they are not in the same colourr (mixed-glass cullet). Some products are too difficult for recycling, so many recycling programs don’t accept them. PVC is the main one. These plastics (which are identified by the three symbols inside their recycling symbol) contain too many additives not to be recycled. They can also affect the quality of the recycled plastic. Janella Elkins, Guadalajara Mexico, for her recommendation. [5]
2018 China’s National Plastics that didn’t meet stricter purity standards were prohibited from being imported under the Sword Policy. In 2018, the U.S. Sent plastic waste to countries around the world, sending 68,000 containers to Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. The U.S. Sent its plastic waste to other countries, shipping 68,000 containers to Thailand in 2018. Diverted its waste to Cambodia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Laos, Ethiopia, Kenya and Senegal — countries with cheap labour and lax environmental rules. U.S. The U.S. Still ships more than 1,000,000 metric tons of plastic waste per year abroad. This is often to countries already overburdened by the material. Experts believe that between 20 and 70 percent of the plastic used for overseas recycling is not usable, so it is discarded. According to one study, plastic waste from Southeast Asia was found to cause contaminated water and crop deaths, as well as respiratory illness due to incineration fumes, organized crime, and contaminate the environment. We are grateful to Latoia and Liang for all their efforts. [6]

Article references

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/17/plastic-recycling-myth-what-really-happens-your-rubbish
  2. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/03/china-has-stopped-accepting-our-trash/584131/
  3. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-to-make-sure-your-recycling-gets-recycled/
  4. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/22/is-recycling-a-waste-heres-the-answer-from-a-plastics-expert.html
  5. https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/conservation/issues/recycling-reality.htm
  6. https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2020/03/13/fix-recycling-america/
Mae Chow

Written by Mae Chow

Passionate about writing and studying Chinese, I blog about anything from fashion to food. And of course, study chinese! I'm a passionate blogger and life enthusiast who loves to share my thoughts, views and opinions with the world. I share things that are close to my heart as well as topics from all over the world.

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