To Recycle or Not To Recycle?

Deciding which is better, using the trash or recycling bin?


Photo illustration by Carli Alper.

Carli Alper, Staff Reporter

Trash cans are often everywhere you look because you almost always have something to put into them, and if you don’t see one right away, you can usually just turn a corner and find one. But usually right next to that big black bin is a smaller bin, usually blue, for your recyclables. But how often do you think to put something in that smaller bin? Do you know what the ideal recyclable item is?
Almost anytime I throw something away, it goes into the trash without a second thought, because even though it can be bad for the environment, I can never remember what I am supposed to put in. Ever since I can remember, I have been lectured about the “trash island in the ocean as big as Texas” and all the other awful things that come along with using that big black bin
But, I am not alone in my inattentiveness with my trash. According to a poll of 15 PCH students, a lot of the time people think about recycling but never end up actually recycling their trash. Recycling is something that can often be overlooked because the second you throw something away, nothing catastrophic immediately happens all the bad stuff that comes along with it happens over time, but as time pass more and more things back up the idea of recycling.
It is not common knowledge about what qualifies as a recyclable, according to a Today story on recycling lots of things containment recycling bins turn even the things that are recyclable into the trash. Some of these containment things people put in include; plastic shopping bags (recyclable at a grocery store but not from a household), chunks of styrofoam, diapers, syringes, and food-contaminated containers. But this is luckily a known issue that places like non-profits are trying to address. A non-Profit, Recycle Across America, has designed standardized labels for bins to help people know what goes in the recycle bin, which they believe should be the solution to this issue.

Now that the research is continuously backing up recycling, the information is getting out there, and more and people are obtaining the knowledge that recycling is important. From the same poll, everyone agreed that recycling is very important, but it is just a matter of doing it. Not all of those people who say that recycling is important always recycle. So think, are you like the masses and no recycling is important, but you just don’t attempt it?