Is Recycling Getting Better or Worse?

It appears that people are more educated than ever before about the benefits that sustainable initiatives has to offer. And yet, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that while 75% of the US waste stream may be recyclable, only 34% of this waste is actually recycled. Data of this nature leave people wondering if our current recycling system is making a difference in light of our precarious environmental situation.

Some issues with the recycling industry arise from poor infrastructure and the widespread use of new materials, while other challenges stem from a lack of education. Increased media coverage alone does not guarantee enhanced recycling methods, but companies can still find ways to process unwanted materials that are ethical, responsible, and impactful.

Does Increased Awareness Lead to an Increase in Recycling?

People from all walks of life generally agree that recycling is a good thing – its benefits are widely documented, and it’s proven to reduce carbon emissions. Research illustrates that regardless of the carbon use required to collect, transport, and process aluminum, it uses 95% less energy than sourcing raw materials.

Even people most committed to an eco-friendly lifestyle believe recycling has limitations, but this is a climate-friendly action that virtually anyone can partake in. The ease of tossing your unwanted items in the correct bin is an excellent way to reduce the extraction of raw materials. Still, there are many common materials that people do not realize they can recycle. In other cases, people may not know how or where to seek the necessary recycling services.

How Much Do People Actually Recycle?

The primary issue with recycling in America is that companies cannot process contaminated materials. If a person tosses recyclable materials in the wrong bin or a dirty food container, those items can no longer be reused. Moreover, the Project Drawdown found that the recycling industry’s projected contribution fell below other climate-friendly initiatives, including geothermal power and forest protection, which leaves people wondering if they should even recycle at all.

Recent data from the EPA states that, out of the 300 million tons of waste generated annually, recyclers only process 69 million tons. Paper and cardboard are the most recycled materials, while glass and plastic lag behind. These issues are exacerbated by the fact that people use materials that are much more complex than paper and plastic. For recycling to be effective, people need access to resources that enable them to recycle a more comprehensive range of materials safely.

How Can People Enhance Their Recycling Efforts?

Many people may want to reduce their negative environmental impact, but modern materials make it challenging for them to make the changes they desire. We can attribute this to the fact that recycling programs vary greatly, and many recycling companies lack the infrastructure to process new materials. Moreover, some illegitimate companies simply send waste materials to developing nations.

Given that one of the primary sources of environmental pollution is electronic waste, partnering with a certified e-waste recycling company is one of the best ways that people can enhance their eco-friendly habits. E-waste recycling companies undergo a stringent certification process to ensure that their recycling practices protect the environment and customer data. With these partnerships, companies may recycle a wide range of unwanted electronic devices, including laptops, printers, cell phones, and other electronic devices that have reached the end of their useful life.

Empower Your Recycling with FAMCe

It appears that most recycling issues stem from improper practices, infrastructure, and education. However, this doesn’t mean that companies should abandon their green initiatives altogether. Now is the time to pivot and adapt with enhanced recycling practices, and your company’s unwanted electronic devices are the perfect place to start.

If you’re ready to take care of e-waste at your institution, First America Metal Corp. (FAMCe) can help. FAMCe has over 30 years of experience assisting organizations with the secure destruction and recycling of their outdated electronics, providing data security solutions for various devices. Our high level of expertise and exceptional customer service have built our reputation as the leading company for your ITAD needs.

Want to recycle your old devices with confidence? Contact FAMCe today for e-waste disposal that’s ethical and secure.

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