Need to recycle mounts as landfill spaces dwindles

Joey Bognar, Staff Writer

We’re all told that we need to recycle, but why? Do you really know how you’re helping when you toss a bottle into the recycle bin instead of the garbage can? Just exactly how important is recycling?

 Recycling is very important, because it meets the call of so many problems we have in this world. One of the biggest concerns we have today is that our population is getting out of hand. The problem is that the bigger population produces more waste, and our landfills are filling up.

“90% of our landfills are full,” says Stephanie Crow – an AP Environmental Science teacher at MHS. “We have a limited amount of space.”

            Most people don’t see these large landfills each day, and it might take until they start popping up all over the place for people to realize they need to be careful about what they throw away, and recycle as much as they can.

One of the worst things about not recycling and letting everything go to landfills is that it contributes to global warming. Methane gas gets released into the atmosphere from the landfills over time as the material inside decomposes. Also, when deforestation occurs because we need tree’s as a resource, tree’s stop taking in carbon dioxide from the air and turning it into oxygen. The excess greenhouse gases from these factors have a big impact on global warming.

Common phrases that you will hear with pro-recycle ad’s and campaigns are “save the tree’s,” and “do it for the Earth.” This is because if we recycle all we can recycle, we won’t have to pull as much resources out of the Earth. Pulling excessive resources out of the Earth is a very harmful thing, and it’s very bad to become dependent on. We rely on tree’s to make our paper, but really think about it; what do we need more, tree’s that produce oxygen, or tree’s that produce paper to write on? Luckily there’s another option aside from these: RECYCLE. Instead of throwing away that flier you really don’t want in the nearest trash, keep it in your pocket until you see a recycle bin for it. This way the paper can be re-used in the future for something useful.

            Recycling everything is a difficult process, but it can be done. “We recycle everything we can at our house.” Crow said. “We even make compost with our food. We only go through about one garbage bag a month.” She went on to say that it takes extra time and effort, but it needs to be done to help our environment.

            “We need to make it more convenient and less expensive to recycle,” said Crow. In some places you have to pay for your recycle bin to be collected. After the place collects your recycled material, they then sell it for even more money. Crow contended “ Everyone is in it for the money, shouldn’t it be for the environment?”

            It’s necessary for us as humans to recycle. Eventually we will run out of resources on this planet, and we are going to have to try to be 100% sustainable with what we have. We can slow this problem down by being responsible and recycling the best we can. You can call your waste collector or check their website to see what you can and can’t recycle to maximize your impact on our mother Earth.