Recycling. We all participate on some level; usually to the degree that our city makes it effortless to do so. But how good is our town’s recycling program really? Does it allow us to reduce our trash by 50, 60, 70 percent or more? And what exactly happens to all those recycled materials once they hit the processing plant?
Monday night I attended a Town Hall meeting in our humble boating town of St. Clair Shores and these were the very questions we sought to explore. The meeting was coordinated by our State Rep Sarah Roberts, eco-enthusiast and fan of our company Green Diva Jewelry. We were invited as a guest to share with others how we source recycled materials for our designs. (READ CONTROVERSIES BELOW)
The meeting was packed. It was productive, educational, and, at times, even a little heated. We didn’t always agree, but all in all, I was proud to be among everyday people that shared a desire to head in the right direction.
Here are a few highlights to think about:
1. Recycling is all about creating markets for recycled goods. If there is no company to buy up the recycled raw materials, then what does the recycler do with it? They can’t store it forever!
Example: Green Diva sources recycled glass from artists who form the raw material into beads. The artist buys up the raw recycled glass, we buy their crafty beads and you buy our finished jewelry. Voila! A market for recycled glass has been created.
2. Not everyone agrees on the concept of energy-generating incinerators. It’s argued to be one of the cleanest forms of electrical production. However, it is also responsible for creating apathy toward recycling. (If we can burn it clean, why should we recycle it?)
Play with an interactive tool to learn about energy-producing incinerators. (There is an intro first)
3. Most recycling services are offered for a fee (either charged separately or through city taxes). Some feel that this service is worth the nominal cost. Others think they should be paid for the raw goods they turn in. So which is it?
What do you think?
Do you have a stance or unique perspective on any of these issues?
Leave your comments below, we love to hear more about what our readers think! We learn from you as much as you learn from us.
About the Author
Katherine DalPra is principal and lead designer for Green Diva Jewelry, an eco-friendly jeweler using exclusively recycled metals and glass, sustainable elements, vintage materials and Fair Trade gems. She is an eco-enthusiast looking to share her growing environmental knowledge with other green-aspiring divas.