What Can I Recycle? | Green Living
Where to Recycle
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Many people think the United States should recycle more of its waste. Even the experts disagree on the best way to go about it. Should communities pick up residents' recyclables? Or is this practice too expensive for over-stretched city budgets? Does community recycling deprive the traditional picker-uppers (Boy Scouts, high school groups) of the opportunity to raise money for their clubs? Let's take a look at some ways recyclables can be collected.
Residents leave their recyclables at the curb or in some other designated place where regular trash is picked up. Communities may require residents to sort their recyclables — such as aluminum cans, newspapers, and glass — into separate containers or they may be mingled together. Curbside collection programs boast the highest recycling rates. Some experts say curbside recycling nationwide could reduce the volume of solid waste by 15 to 25 percent.
In some areas, people bring their recyclables to collection centers. This saves the community the cost of curbside collection but relies on residents willing to drive to the center for little or no payment. And they usually must crush, sort, and clean them.
Reverse Vending Machines
In many places, there are machines that accept used beverage containers and reimburse the depositor on the spot. Reverse vending machines are convenient because they are usually located inside or outside grocery stores.
Several states impose a five or 10-cent deposit on returnable bottles and cans. Consumers get their deposits back when they return the containers to the store for recycling. These so-called "bottle-bill" states originally passed deposit laws to combat litter problems. Now they are one step ahead of the game. Deposits help solid waste disposal problems, too.
Pick-Up by Volunteers
This is recycling the old-fashioned way. Community groups, such as church groups and the Boy Scouts, collect recyclables to raise money for their clubs. These groups usually just pick up aluminum and newspapers because their scrap value is higher than other recyclables.
Video: TL;DR - How To Recycle in Japan
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