Our Role in Consumption and Recycling

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Our Role in Consumption and Recycling We all know that this country produces quite a lot of "stuff." Goods and services, we’re the economically-dominant country in the world. U.S. corporate power makes, the world takes. But with all this production, all these goods, comes a need to dispose of what we consider to be no longer useful. Some of it is in fact useful, some of it isn’t. But the fact is, we throw away a lot of stuff. Compared to the rest of the world, we dispose of goods much like we market them –tremendously disproportional. Each American produces about 4.4 lbs. of trash every day, costing our municipalities a total of $23 billion annually; this is far more waste than that of any other Westernized nation. (Columbia Encyclopedia.). But there is a good, or "not so bad," side to this: a sizable portion of this refuse is single-substance, recyclable material. Considering this fact and our continuously-shrinking landfill space, numerous local governments began some years ago to adopt recycling programs. It was seen as a necessary solution to reduce further waste. We recycle many different materials now. One which we are all familiar with is paper. Most recycled paper is a mixture of post-consumer waste, which is simply used paper, and pre-consumer waste, consisting of unsold magazines, newspapers, and the like. While there is certainly nothing wrong with making new product out of leftover paper, it is a tremendous waste to continuously produce pre-consumer waste- that is, constantly producing much more than will actually be sold - especially when that margin of excess is expected in every circulation. It would cut down costs and energy of printing presses everywhere - as well as countless trees - if the publications wo... ... middle of paper ... ...e resources and money." 24 Feb 2000. (http://www.hooked.net/users/ verdant/handson.htm). "Sources of Toxic Air Pollution." Vermont Air Toxics Web Page. 27 March 2000. (http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/air/airtoxics/Pages/sources_of_toxic_air_pollution.htm). "Steel Recycling for the Environment." 24 Feb 2000 (http://www.autosteel.org/facts/ recycle/environ/environ.htm) "Ten Reasons Why Dams Damage Rivers." American Rivers. 1997. 27 March 2000. (http://www.amrivers.org/ dam10ways.html). "Waste Tire Recycling Technology." ERT Environmental Recycling Technology Inc. 1997. (http://www.globalserve.net /~ertnet/2.html). "What to Do." 24 Feb 2000. (http://www.amalthys. com/consumer/do.htm). "Why Vegan." Vegan Outreach 1998: 8. "World’s First Breakthrough in True Rubber Recycling." 1 Jan 2000. 2 Feb 2000. (http://owinok.hypermart.net/ index2/Quattro.htm).
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