The enemy is us
The bitching and moaning about the collapse of the recycling market almost always targets someone else. Maybe it’s the Chinese, maybe it’s the disposal and recycling companies. But if we genuinely seek responsibility, we need look no further than our own neighborhood.
“Recycling” is one leg of a stool that reduces the environmental impact of our consumption. The other legs are “reducing” and “reusing.” For too many years we thought that recycling allowed us to continue our obscene consumptive excesses. This was always an illusion! Until we recognize that we live on a finite planet with finite resources and a finite capacity to process our waste, we will behave unsustainably; we’ll destroy the planet that future generations need to survive.
The second recycling problem is that we and our neighbors are not following the rules. When we throw garbage and non-recyclable materials in that bin, we contaminate it such that it cannot be recycled, and neither can the rest of the load from our neighborhood. The entire load ends up in the landfill and it’s our fault.
So, check that you’re following Recology rules and check your neighbor’s bins … and then advise them if they are culprits.