The Importance of Recycling in South Florida

Recycling is an important part of giving back to the environment and protecting the earth for future generations. It is the only way to have a positive impact on our world and continues to give back for many years. For example, aluminium can be recycled an unlimited number of times which saves energy and resources.  The amount of waste created by human beings continues to grow as we progress and evolve as a society. The primary reasons waste has grown over the years include:

  • The increasing wealth which allows people to buy more products.
  • The increased number of people who create waste (births).
  • Fast food which creates biodegradable waste.
  • New technology and packaging which are not biodegradable.

Hierarchy of Waste

There are 3 Rs of waste hierarchy to reduce the amount of waste generated and to improve waste management programs. These steps should be implemented in your daily life to reduce waste and ensure the reduction of carbon footprint.

Reduce

The concept of reducing what is produced and what is consumed is essential to the waste hierarchy. When there is less waste, there is less to recycle or reuse.

Reuse

Re-purposing or reusing things for a different purpose other than what they were originally intended for, is essential in waste hierarchy.

Recycle

The last stage of the waste hierarchy is to recycle. There are dozens of recycling options in South Florida. To recycle means that a product will be altered again into a raw material that can be created into a new item. There are very few materials on earth that cannot be recycled. The issues facing communities about recycling efforts are that while the collection and sorting processes are easy to implement, there are no facilities to receive and transform the useless waste into raw material.

Efforts are made to unite recycling plants with industries that can route the waste material through incentives and pacts. Knowing which products to buy so that they can be recycled is efficient recycling. We must learn to buy products from markets that are made up of environmental friendly materials and formulate new ways to recycle different items.

Impact of Waste on the Environment in South Florida

Waste has a huge negative impact on the natural environment. All landfills are filling up and there is no place for dumping waste. Greenhouse gases and harmful chemicals are released from waste in landfill sites. Deforestation causes habitat destruction and global warming.

Recycling is vital to South Florida as recycling helps to diminish the contamination caused by waste. Making products from raw materials costs more than if they were made from recycled products.Recycling reduces the need for raw materials. It also uses less energy, thereby preserving natural resources for the future generations.

Products and Materials to be Recycled

Most products can be recycled – shampoo bottles, jelly jars, aluminum cans, newspapers, and packaging materials. Certain materials such as batteries, motor oil, paint, pesticides, and thinners contain hazardous products which should be disposed of in a safe and legal manner.

Curbside Collection and Drop-off Facilities in South Florida

Curbside collection programs make recycling easy. People can leave recyclable waste in colored bins on the curb. This will be picked up and sent for recycling. Educate yourself about where the collection centers exist and what can be included into the bins that are used for recycling.

Recycling Programs in South Florida and What You Can Do

A meaningful program is in place to recycle paper-corrugated cardboard, film, Styrofoam and plastic. You can help to make a difference in your environment every day.

At home

Composting helps to keep the organic materials out of the landfills. Donate healthy plants to community gardens and schools. You can use insulation from recycled paper and glass. Turn off lights to save energy. Buy batteries with low mercury content. Yard sales help in disposing things.

At school

Students, parents, and teachers can make a difference in reducing waste at school by purchasing school supplies made from recycled products.

At Work

Motivate co-workers to buy green products. Avoid printing whenever possible. Use small fonts and print double side to save paper. Pay bills via e-billing.

In Communities

Citizens can work together and reduce waste. Donate old computers and telephones to schools and community centers.

On the Go

Travelers create a lot of waste. Car maintenance is important. Used motor oil, anti freeze, batteries, and tires should be taken to a recycling center.

South Florida’s recycling rate in 2014 was 50 percent and is estimated to reach 75 percent recycling rate by 2020!