Why Recycle?

WhyRecycle Pic

Why Recycle? The Salem Recycling Committee weighs in.

SalemRecycles is a committee of dedicated recyclers working to make Salem a greener, cleaner, more environmental city.  Although there are a lot of initiatives in the pipeline, one of our main concerns and the reasons for the title of the committee, is increasing the level of recycling in Salem.  We do this several ways: through education on what recycling is, offering alternative ways to dispose of materials, and changing your perception and actions to include more recycling.  Recycling is fun and easy to do. 

But – before you change your actions.  Why recycle at all? What are the benefits?  Here, four of our committee members tell stories, ask questions, and discuss benefits of recycling.  Hopefully these will make you think about why you recycle – or why you might want to start recycling.

Why Recycle?

I used to think about how wonderful it is that the trash truck comes and makes junk magically go away and we get a fresh start with an emptied bin. But eventually the question of “where does trash go?’ popped up in the back of my mind. When I lived in L.A., they built condos up in some “new” hill a short drive from our house. We checked it out. It turns out it was a landfill masked with nice landscaping. After a few years, when you drove by that neighborhood, you could start to smell the stench. The condos started to settle A LOT, which made the news. I started thinking about what was the right thing for us to do. I don’t want to live in a rubbish filled world where we just keep consuming and thereby creating rubbish that others have to live on top of. Now that I’m recycling more and more, it really gives me peace of mind to know where the waste: paper, plastic, metals, styrofoam, textiles, and compost are going.

Why Recycle?

I recycle because of the many benefits for the community – both the environment and the people – that live within it.  Here are a few of my reasons:

  • It keeps resources local.
  • It creates more jobs .
  • It is a more efficient use of resources – which means less waste and more savings.
  • It is environmentally sound.

Why Recycle?

I recycle for many reasons.  I grew up in a home where money what tight and you used things up or found another purpose for them. Art projects were big and I clearly remember my fascination with paper-mache and the ability to use paper strips and a flour paste to make sculptures, puppet heads, Easter eggs  – all sorts of fun stuff. So for me recycling is fun and easy – because that is what I know.     

As an adult, I recycle for other reasons too – because I care about our planet, and I see that vast quantities of stuff that can be reused or recycled, which is in turn good for our health and our pocketbooks. There is only so much space in landfill, it is expensive for our community, and burning waste is unhealthful. I also love that because I compost, recycle and reuse things, I have minimal trash and the benefits – great soil for my garden, a tax write off when I drop things off to be reused, and materials for fun art projects (like felted mittens from old sweaters). I like the feeling of doing my part and having some control in a world that at times feels out of control. I want to make a difference in my small way. 

Whatever your reason is, you should know that you are contributing to the betterment of our community. So Thank You and keep it up!

Finally, as one member responded to the question Why Recycle?

Is there any other way?  

Check out the Tumblr and Facebook Page of Quarg, our featured photo robot who will help you recycle!  Quarg is not a part of the SalemRecycles Committee.

Got questions?  Send them our way on the Salem Recycles Facebook Page.

This blog post was written by Beth Melillo, a member of the SalemRecycles Committee.  Beth is an MS candidate as Salem State University in the I/O Psychology program and is interested in sustainable business and development.  You can often find her running at Forest River Park or checking out books about upcycling from the Salem Public Library.