Recycling is the first step to a clean campus

Those of you who think that recycling isn’t beneficial, think again, there’s more to it than keeping our campus clean.

It seems as though plastic and aluminum containers are the pieces not finding their way to the recycling bin these days. Just walk through the halls of Palomar and you’ll find that littering is still a prominent issue.

To everyone at Palomar, recycling should almost be second nature because there are designated bins everywhere. All of us should be recycling, but we’re not.

Despite the fact that Palomar has made it as easy to recycle as it is to throw away trash, not everyone is disposing of their aluminum cans and water bottles properly. By recycling, we are reducing landfills and reusing our resources, making recycling worth the effort.

In 1976, the average American consumed 1.6 gallons of bottled water. In 2006, that number became 28.3 gallons, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp. In 2010, San Diego’s recycling rate was 68 percent. If we strive for 100 percent, space at the landfills could be reserved for actual waste.

San Diego’s only active landfill is in Miramar. There, almost 1 million tons of waste is disposed of yearly. The fill is approximately 1,500 acres in size and they are running out of room, so it’s imperative that each of us do our part to recycle whatever and whenever we can.

Not all resources are inexhaustible, and that’s something that people aren’t always keeping in mind.

Here’s the thing, it’s not just about pollution anymore, (although pollution is still a major concern).  It’s about being smart and resourceful. Not all waste is recyclable, but it’s important to know the difference between litter and reusable material.

Recycling should be a matter in which we all young and old take responsibility do something about conserving useful materials.

At least someone is cashing in on the five cent California Redemption Value (CRV).

California law now gives recyclers the option of receiving the CRV per container and not just by weight.

It may not seem like a lot of money, but it adds up. On average, I drink about two to three bottles of water a day. Three bottles a day at five cents for a year is about $54. That’s just me, most people have roommates or live with family. Multiply that number by just two, three or even four.

So yes, recycling is worth it, because it makes our world cleaner and because it reuses our resources.

Aluminum, another container a lot of us use daily, can be recycled over and over again. Typically, after being recycled, an aluminum can could easily be right back on the shelf in 60 days. Throwing an aluminum can away, and not recycling it, wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can’s volume of gasoline, according to Earth911.com. Gasoline is a tough resource to purchase.

Though I try my hardest to recycle every little bit of paper, glass, plastic and aluminum that I touch, I too fall short, but there is nothing I hate more than taking a stroll on the beach and finding empty cans or plastic bottles in the sand. I mean come on, we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and we are trashing it.

We aren’t doing our part. People are just being lazy and not taking the few extra steps to recycle. We need to take responsibility and start making conscious decisions, because recycling does make a difference in our lives and in the lives of future generations.

atesterman@the-telescope.com

Author: TELESCOPE STAFF

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