Recycling is broken in the US; it had 3-pound daily garbage collections in the 60s and grew to over 5 pounds in 2022. Most dumped waste is not recycled, even though most Americans dispose of them correctly.
Most recyclables get contaminated when items are put in the wrong bin or when food containers are put in them. Contamination stops the significant material batches from being recycled, while other materials cannot be processed in particular facilities.
Also, most collected items like bags and straws end up being incarcerated because they cannot be recycled. Even though incineration is believed to produce energy at times, it has recently been associated with toxic emissions and has high commercial waste collection costs.
US Recycling State
Remember, the US depended on China for many years, meaning its recycling infrastructure has not developed properly. What makes the situation even worse is that the US lacks a federal recycling program to deal with waste like other countries. Research has shown that over 300 tonnes of waste are generated in the US annually, and only 100 are composted or recycled.
Plastic recycling is the biggest challenge since it is mostly contaminated with other materials. Also, consumer companies do not purchase recycled plastic unless it is 100% pure. Textiles are another significant waste source; a study has shown that only 14% of textiles were recycled in 2022 in the US.
Even though the fashion sector is converting old fabrics into new designs, it is not significant enough to address this issue. Food waste is, undoubtedly, the biggest source of waste in the US.
What are the Best Solutions?
The dynamic waste collection market for top-notch recycled materials is developing fast. The global demand for cardboard and paper is expected to shoot by 2% next year. This is primarily because of the development of e-commerce and the demand for packaging.
The best way to fix waste problems in the US is by making the domestic market more developed. This entails enhancing the technology of recovering and sorting materials and putting more recycled items into products.
Why the US Should Improve Its Waste Management System
The US population is ever-growing, explaining why the government strives for better waste disposal systems. There are many benefits of managing waste correctly, and below, we discuss why the US should improve its waste management system.
- To Save the Environment
We cannot emphasize how essential proper waste disposal has positive benefits to the environment. Over 25 million tonnes of waste are generated in the US annually, and a significant amount goes down the country.
Besides taking up much space on the land, these landfills also release toxic gases that cause unwanted diseases. The US is looking for new ways to solve these issues.
For one, they have become more effective in recycling their waste. Also, incorporating advanced waste management techniques has reduced toxic emissions while retaining our natural resources.
- Improved Health
The main benefits of a proper waste management scheme are it improves health. Remember, some toxic gases in landfills stay in the air for a long time and can cause adverse health conditions. Citizens are also taught the right disposal techniques to keep the air clean.
- Cost Reduction and Industry Creation
A lot of money is present in the waste disposal sector. The improved waste disposal developments in the US have led to the creation of jobs. These jobs range from entry-level to skilled positions.
A top benefit of the right waste disposal is that it inevitably drops the cost of materials. This occurs because most materials can be reused easily, especially during construction. This, in turn, makes the economy more circular, improving the process for everybody.
How to Dispose of Waste Correctly
The ideal way to dispose of waste is using metal recycling. This process not only safeguards the environment but also generates a significant amount of income. It is possible to reuse scrap or metal waste, but not plastic. Metal and scrap waste also do not lose their properties in numerous processes. Below we discuss how to dispose of waste correctly.
- Sort the garbage appropriately into bins. This can be achieved by having a multi-storage bin on your premises to ensure waste is sorted when being disposed of.
- Take all reusable waste like toys to a secondhand shop
- Take all recyclable waste like glass to the right recycling center. Also, shun using plastic bags as they add to the waste
- Put garden and food waste in a compost using a basic compost pile
- Take all additional waste to a trash bag.
Waste disposal is an active topic in most countries, as most struggle to get the right system to handle it. The US has been at the forefront in developing the best waste management skills, and the above article has discussed how.