Recycling in America


Sense China stopped taking recyclables from the U.S. a couple of years ago, many towns have stopped doing recycling. Some jurisdictions have found it to be too expensive to pick up plastics, cans, bottles, paper and other items. Many collections have ended up sitting in warehouses or on docks or in landfills with the rest of the trash. There are too few processing plants within this country to handle all the discarded waste. Another problem is in Baltimore where they have stopped recycling temporarily because some of the workers have contracted the cov-2 virus, presumable from handling the waste materials. Recycling helps combat Global warming by saving on energy to make new containers. And when trash is burned, it releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. So by recycling, you have less refuse to be incinerated.

There is a company in Virginia that processes the recycling of plastic grocery bags. They make plastic wood products for outdoor use. Plastic is recycled and processed to make plastic bottles in California and Texas.

Paper is recycled and sent to a Recycling plant where they separate the different paper products, then wash the paper. Then Cardboard and paper goes to a Paper Mill where it is wetted, pressed, cleaned, dried and rolled up into paper to be re-used. In Pennsylvania they make boxes from recycled paper. But there has been a problem in the past with computer printers that jam when using recycled paper. The grains in the paper are not the same as first cut from wood and the printers have a difficult time trying to pickup the recycled paper.

In Maryland they still recycle electronics dropped off at the landfill. But they no longer take TVs or monitors. The screens are put in with the regular trash. The landfill charges a fee for recycling plastic, paper and other items.

Metal cans are recycled and processed in Baltimore and Pennsylvania.

There are many problems with recycling in the U.S. theses days.

We need to do more to ensure recycling continues, for the good of Planet Earth.


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