According to the World Bank, did you know that the United States has one of the highest recycling rates in the world? Did you also know that by the year 2021, the United States will have a recycling rate of more than two million tons? Did you also know that between twenty-five and thirty-five percent of these two million tons will come from just the five largest metropolitan areas in the country? Did you know that by the year 2035, the United States will produce over thirteen million tons of steel and other metals?
Recycling Facilities In Los Angeles
Did you know that in Los Angeles alone, there are over three thousand recycling facilities? Did you know that by the year 2021, there will be over eleven million square feet of usable landfill space available in Los Angeles? Did you know that by the year 2021, there was enough recycled material being produced in the United States to cover the natural birthplaces of the three largest cities in the nation? Did you know that all of these natural-born cities’ combined resources equal nearly five billion American dollars? Did you know that if you used one-fourth of this five billion dollar a year investment to create and sustain the social support necessary for the maintenance, development, and energy requirements of the Los Angeles metropolitan area that you would be left over for your pocketbook?
California’s Significant Contribution
Did you know that in 2021, the state of California produced over eighty percent of its Gross Domestic Product? Did you know that when you calculate the value of the products and services produced by businesses in Los Angeles and the greater Southern California area, it comes out to be over seven billion dollars? Did you know that according to the United States Conference of Mayors, the use of municipal solid waste costs the state nearly one and a half-billion dollars a year? Did you know that the state produces close to forty percent of its Gross Domestic Product through the use of municipal solid waste? Did you know that the number has been steadily rising?
What Are We Missing?
Now then, there is something quite interesting going on here. Something very interesting is that we are losing sight of the true statistics about recycling in the face of our increased understanding of how the process works. Unfortunately, the public in general and the politicians, in particular, have been slow to recognize the value of the information provided to them through the use of these statistics. Some of the country’s political leaders have made little or no attempt to develop the metrics used to determine the proper amount of recycling in our communities. Why is this?
Adopt Some Unusual Ways!
It appears that to increase the recycling rate, we need to look at some of the more unusual ways in which citizens are recycling their things. Consider one common statistic that is routinely overlooked. According to these people, the recycling rate is close to one hundred percent, but when you consider that just five percent of the waste that ends up in our landfills is recycled, you begin to realize that the real story is quite different. You see, most people, and we as a nation should be quite surprised, consider that the actual level of recycling in this country is over one hundred percent.
But What Does This Mean For The Future?
Well, it means that instead of investing precious time and resources to send out mixed loads of different garbage to be crushed and buried in our landfills, we are investing those resources into creating systems for recycling that we know work. In other words, instead of filling up our landfills with all manner of recycled paper products, and packaging, and cartons, we are investing those resources into developing new methods for producing these commodities. For example, instead of buying in bulk and shipping all manner of corrugated cardboard containers across our county or state to be crushed and melted down in low-volume landfills, we are investing in manufacturing the packaging in a single facility the landfills do not need to be filled. This same investment will allow us to invest in other commodities that can be shipped to our landfills and then melted down in single locations.
Average Recycling Rate In The United States
Now, I would like to take this idea and run with it, because the truth is that the number of funny facts about recycling in Europe is rather amazing. Consider this: the average recycling rate in the United States is only 35 percent. The European Union average recycling rate is just under fifty percent! Now, one could make a joke and say that the European countries are populated by intelligent humans who are stuck in their ways, but that isn’t the case. The reason that the European countries have such an incredible recycling rate is that they have developed systems for sorting, packing, and transporting waste without dumping and separation.
Now, consider how many billions of plastic bags have been tossed in the trash during the year. That number alone is more than enough to house and repair the number of recycling facilities required in the United States to process this kind of waste. When you consider the fact that there are so many Americans who own disposable coffee cups, cigarette packets and water bottles, and so on, it becomes apparent just how much waste needs to be put into many large landfills incinerators across the country. One has to ask if it makes sense to live this way in a so advanced and technologically advanced country like the United States. As it turns out, the answer is a resounding yes.