Wake Up to Recycling

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Since the beginning of the 21st century, Americans have started to become more aware of the waste they produce and the damage they are doing to Earth. People everywhere are making a conscious effort to reduce their waste and, more importantly, recycle. But still it may not be enough, because with every new idea you can find a skeptic. So to protect our planet and ensure its health, the United States needs to instill laws that make recycling mandatory, because the steps they have taken thus far are not enough. Many Americans do not take recycling seriously because they are not well informed and do not consider it a pressing matter. But recycling has numerous benefits as opposed to not recycling, which means letting our limited resources diminish until we have nothing left.

It is usually a challenge to make an intelligent decision on a matter one knows little about. So how can Americans be expected to recycle if they do not know what it does for our planet? Instilling recycling laws in the United States will force people to address the issue and be a part of repairing it. Informing Americans of the facts will open many eyes. According to, “a grand total of 246 million tons of trash was created in 2005.” But “from 1990 to 2005 the amount of municipal solid waste going to landfills decreased by 9 million,” (Chait). And that is before any laws were set. So “U.S. goals should continue to address the fact that these figures can be improved,” (Chait).

If a system is simplistic and impartial, people are more likely to enjoy participating in it than in one that is confusing and inequitable. As of today, recycling programs vary from state-to-state which does not give much encouragement or reason for Americans to recycle....

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...eaning, and reusing materials takes a far less toll on the environment. There is no fool proof solution to our environmental issues, but if making recycling mandatory will improve our planet’s condition, then why not give it a chance?

After all, America does not have many options when it comes to recycling. Either we make recycling mandatory, inform Americans of the facts, improve our programs, and keep our resources around for generations to come, or opt out of recycling and watch as we slowly run out of the elements we have been taking advantage of for so long. As Rachel Carson once said, “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe, the less taste we shall have for destruction,” (“Recycling”). So while mandatory recycling may have a downside, the satisfaction we could reap from its benefits are practically limitless.
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