It’s time to rethink recycling. And if you don’t recycle, it’s time to start.
In Lake Wylie, we know the turmoil of litterbugs and pollution. Volunteers pull tons of garbage out of the lake every year during Riversweep, scheduled Oct. 3 this year. To volunteer to collect trash or to be a boat captain, visit lakewylieriversweep.com.
A Lake Wylie couple last month was so fed up with the trash piling up on their property, they attached a garbage can to the Do Not Litter sign on the roadway.
As Scott Morgan, code enforcement program manager for PalmettoPride in Columbia, said it’s a culture that needs to be changed.
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Littering is preventable and inexcusable.
Let’s face it, South Carolina falls 40th in the country in eco-friendly behaviors, while North Carolina is 26th, according to WalletHub. Wouldn’t you like to see this improve?
One way is to recycle. According to U.S. recycling statistics at http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/, one of the best ways to increase recycling is by encouraging individuals to start in their homes and take on the mantra: "My state’s better than your state.”
Now, York County is urging its residents to rethink recycling. After all, we’re booming with business and residential growth. Landfills fill up. New landfills could be needed, and no one wants it in their backyard.
Not only is York County encouraging residents to pitch in by throwing all recycables into a bag or bin together, but by going a step further to pre-sort items at home.
Residents have been grumbling. Some even saying it would be easier to toss everything in the garbage instead of recycling at all. Perhaps the message isn’t clearly understood and the county needs to educate the public.
Pre-sorting helps the centers move more material more quickly, county waste center authorities say.
It all comes down to dollars and cents, or sense. The recycling industry has a $13 billion annual impact on South Carolina’s economy – double the estimated impact of recycling in 2006 – according to a study completed in April 2014.
According to the S.C. Department of Commerce’s Recycling Market Development Program, 22,403 jobs can be attributed to recycling, it generates $329 million in state and local taxes each year, and there are more than 520 recycling related companies in the state.
Along with financial and environmental reasons like landfill issues and eliminating pollution, it helps protect our natural resources. “If the US recycling levels can reach 75 percent it will be the environmental benefit of removing 50 million cars from the road each year and it will generate 1.5 million new jobs,” states http://recycleacrossamerica.org/recycling-facts.
Some states known for being environmentally-friendly are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Vermont. Wouldn’t you like to see South Carolina on that list?
▪ Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. Five plastic bottles (PET) recycled provides enough fiber to create 1-square-foot of carpet or enough fiber fill to fill one ski jacket.
▪ Recycling a single aluminum can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours.
▪ It requires 95 percent less energy and water to recycle a can than it does to create a can from new materials
▪ Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 12-foot wall from Seattle to New York (a new wall every year).
▪ Recycling a 3-foot stack of newspaper saves one tree.
▪ Making glass from recycled material cuts related water pollution by 50 percent.
▪ Recycling one glass jar saves enough electricity to light an 11 watt CFL bulb for 20 hours.
▪ More than 28 billion glass bottles and jars end up in landfills every year – that is the equivalent of filling two Empire State Buildings every three weeks.
▪ Recycling cardboard takes 75 percent of the energy needed to make new cardboard.
▪ Recycling 1 ton of cardboard saves 46 gallons of oil.