Editor’s note: The letter writer talks about using convenience centers that are operated by Liberty County. These centers include recycling modules, according to County Manager Joey Brown. These facilities handle household garbage and dry trash. Keep Liberty Beautiful works to educate the public about recycling. The Courier runs weekly columns submitted by Karen Bell, executive director of KLB.
I am writing this as a Liberty County resident. Here (in Fleming), we are privileged to have our own recycling center alongside the dumpster just feet away from each other. I was so happy to see this recycling center and quickly familiarized myself with the items that are able to be recycled by looking at what others throw in the sorted bins at this facility, located right next to a Fleming convenient store.
Unfortunately, I am seeing that the majority of those using the dumpster are not utilizing the recycling area and wish to convince the public on why recycling is so important.
Do you know where your trash goes once you toss it in the dumpster?
The percent of municipal solid waste in U.S. landfills is 52.25 percent; in waste-to-energy plants it’s 12.8 percent; in composters it’s 8.9 percent; and in recycling centers it’s 25.6 percent.
Your trash, if left unsorted, will be sorted for metals and other things; but, all that plastic and aluminum will be going to a landfill where it will be buried in the earth. Normally, plastic items can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills. Plastic bags we use in our everyday life take 10 to 1,000 years to decompose, while plastic bottles can take 450 years or more. (Source: www.thebalancesmb.com/how-long-does-it-take-garbage-to-decompose-2878033)
So this stuff we use once goes into the earth with its toxins covered with dirt; so we don’t see it and it just stays there. We use fossil fuels for the productions of these plastics, but recycling can lessen production for reuse as well as letting it get to landfills and the ocean.
How can we as a community increase awareness of the importance of recycling, and encourage people to care?
I tried to go to the Liberty County (solid) waste authority (web site) to see where my trash goes, track my trash and even the recycling, but there is nothing laid out here easy to find on the internet.
Could you please write an article addressing each step of trash and where it and the recycled goods go and where the other trash goes for disposal and how much is going to landfills in the end? We all know how important it is to decrease waste production and recycle, but more needs to be done to bring this to the attention of (Liberty County’s) citizens. Because having a recycling center right next to the dumpster isn’t enough.