What is happening?
The City of Cleveland has not renewed its contract for recycling, so the contents of our recycling bins are now headed for the landfill every week. Mayor Frank Jackson confirmed that the recycling contract had not been renewed because it becomes too costly to sort recyclable materials and blamed residents for not properly following the guidelines of what can and cannot be recycled.
Recycling has many benefits to our environment as it conserves resources and saves energy. Without the ability to re-use recycled materials, new raw materials must be extracted from the earth, which then creates added air and water pollution during the extraction process. Additionally, recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps fight global warming and climate change.
Since it is Plastic Free July, let’s focus on why we recycle plastic and why we should minimize our use of single-use plastic. Plastics take centuries to breakdown whether they end up in a landfill or our oceans. Excessive plastic pollution in the oceans has wreaked havoc on birds, fish, and other aquatic life. Humans are now potentially consuming that fish and exposing our health to decaying plastics. The presence of microplastics in drinking water also remains a serious concern to health experts.
Just think, how many times do you use plastic in one day? Then multiply that by days in a year and consider the population of just the United States. It gets to be an overwhelming amount of plastic, which is why we all need to act now.
Where Can I Recycle?
Most cities have their own recycling program that is picked up in front of your house. If you do not have a city program or live in the city of Cleveland where recycling is no longer occurring, then the website below can identify recycling drop off locations closest to you. Be sure to properly read what the location accepts for recycled materials and call ahead to make sure they are still allowing drop-offs. Additionally, sorting your recycling for the drop off facility will help you confirm that what you are taking is recyclable and help ensure it is actually recycled.
Find a location to drop off your recyclables here:
Check back next week for resources on knowing what you can recycle & tips on going single-use plastic free.