The era of easy recycling could be over

Read the full story from HOBI.

Many enterprises and organizations are kicking off various green initiatives to address the global waste issue. But for years, the easiest green initiative for a majority of Americans has been right from the comfort of their own homes – curbside recycling programs. All one has to do is to separate recyclable materials from non-recyclable waste and place the discarded material in a state-issued bin that will be emptied on designated dates. Waste experts call this system of dumping all recyclables into one bin “single-stream recycling,” and while its main benefit is its ease of participation, the growing negative aspect is the amount of non recyclable recyclables, it produces.

On average, about 25 percent of the stuff we try to recycle is actually too contaminated to go anywhere but the landfill. The problem has only compounded within the last year when China stopped importing contaminated recyclable material that, in many cases, has not yet found another buyer. Some experts have credited single stream with large increases in the amount of materials recycled. Studies have shown that people choose to put more stuff out on the curb for recycling when they have a single-sort system.

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