In the news: U.S. Cities are Burning Recyclables

Further reason for sustainable daily life choices

Original article: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/china-recycling-ban-pollution_n_5c6ef4f9e4b0e2f4d8a3e2d5

This is one of those articles that makes me feel helpless- and one that I probably wouldn’t finish reading except that I now have this site and want to encourage myself and others to really face facts.

What happens to your household’s waste after it’s picked up from the curb? Out of sight out of mind for you right? It’s time for us all to think about those responsible for cleaning up after us. Turns out, maybe not the best choices are being made at this level.

Did you even know that we were shipping our recycling to China? WTF? No wonder there’s a garbage patch in the freaking ocean.

I originally pasted a bunch of quotes from the article but really you should just take the time to read it for yourself- from in between your fingers like a horror movie was my preferred method.

These are just a few of the quotes I pulled and my quick commentary:

The [U.S] generates more than 250m tons of waste a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with about a third of this recycled and composted.

That’s an unfathomable number, like number of deaths in war but we can all agree it’s too much- where does it go? Think of the waste generated just in the years you’ve been alive and where it could be now.

There isn’t much of a domestic market for U.S. recyclables — materials such as steel or high-density plastics can be sold on but much of the rest holds little more value than rubbish…


Is this a market waiting to be tapped? How would one even start to find uses for recycled materials that are currently considered little more than trash?

Covanta and its critics agree that the whole recycling system in the U.S. will need to be overhauled to avoid further environmental damage. Just 9% of plastic is recycled in the US, with campaigns to push up recycling rates obscuring broader concerns about the environmental impact of mass consumption, whether derived from recycled materials or not.

This is the first valid reason I’ve seen to run for local government, to be a part of that conversation/overhaul.

Overall, this article has confirmed my worry that my recycle can is little more than a second trash can that makes me feel less guilty when I throw something in it.

Most importantly: let’s not be discouraged by news like this. Let’s turn that frown upside down and use it as a sustainable fuel (hehe) to motivate our continued efforts towards eco-friendly living.

It’s time for the Petrichors Army (that’s you reading this and me writing this) to take a consumer’s stand against single use items, even if they are “recyclable.”

Every human on Earth must reduce their waste in the near future or we will all drown in it one way or another. We need to help each other to find ways of not generating as much waste, together.

I have many topics in the pipeline about “zero waste” living that I look forward to sharing. I found this article in the past week and thought it was worth sharing immediately.

Send me other depressing articles like this and/or your current favorite zero waste find.