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Old 09-02-2021, 04:51 PM
1 posts, read 422 times
Reputation: 15


You’ve heard the phrase: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. But taking everything into account, is it actually worth it for Monongalia county to continue recycling? I did some research online and interviewed Monongalia county’s Commissioner Bloom to find out. There are a number of reasons why recycling may not be as effective as people think at decreasing waste, but also at benefitting the county as a whole.

First, the number of people who recycle in the county isn’t enough to make a significant impact on the environment. No matter how often it is preached, most people here don’t recycle. In fact, only about 5 to 7% of the people in the county do. In addition, because the county cannot mandate people to practice recycling, the recycling industry is very limited here, so recycling opportunities are often scarce. For example, none of the disposal companies servicing my street offer recycling because I live outside the city limits of Morgantown.

Additionally, a lot of the recyclable waste still ends up as garbage to go to landfills. Disposing recyclables into a bin doesn’t guarantee it will end up being recycled in a recycling center.
There are specific guidelines in order for an item to be recyclable. If any container has leftover food or liquid, it is considered to be contaminated, and many times the whole batch of recyclables gets dumped to avoid other unclean items. Even a pizza box with leftover grease at the bottom cannot be recycled as it could contaminate the recycling stream (moncountyrecycling.com).

In general, recycling is just a difficult and costly service to provide. Ever since China banned the import of recyclable waste from the US and other countries, the recycling industry lost its main market for recyclable materials. Now, in order to sell recyclable waste, municipalities must either pay much higher rates or just throw it all away. Especially with the small percentage of recycling happening in the county, the practice is definitely not economical.

Ultimately, recycling is not the best way for the county right now to fight the increasing buildup of trash in landfills. With hundreds of thousands of dollars spent every year to continue recycling services in Mon county but with little noticeable impact, recycling doesn’t seem worth it anymore. Maybe in the future, the US’s recycling system will be improved but for now, the first 2 R’s in the phrase are our best bet to protect our environment.
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