THE PROBLEM

Recyclability is not universal.

Recycling is one of the most accessible and effective actions people can take to reduce their environmental impact. Recycling keeps waste out of landfills and the environment, conserves resources, and reduces CO2 output. The problem is that the question “CAN I RECYCLE THIS?” has a different answer depending on location.

Recycling standards vary from place to place. What’s recyclable in one city might be trash in another. For example, what is recyclable in Atlanta differs from what is recyclable in New York... Who knew!? This means that many well-intentioned people are unknowingly contaminating waste streams with materials that are not recyclable in their area. 

Workers at recycling facilities sort out contamination, but they can only do so much. When contamination reaches a certain threshold, that portion of the stream must be diverted to a landfill. This means that otherwise recyclable materials are going to waste.

NEXT: THE SOLUTION

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