The United States is far behind the rest of the world when it comes
to recycling. There has always been an abundance of new materials
and landfill area to dispose of unwanted materials. This is no longer
the case. It is imperative that this nation changes this attitude and
the sooner the better. Our dependence upon foreign oil is partly
because we are so wasteful.

The U.S. has failed to recognize that when it comes to the
environment, sometimes it is necessary to start programs that will
not be self supporting. Europe recognized this many years ago.

For example in Germany it was necessary some years ago to curb
the use of soft drink cans. What was a tradition many years ago has
again become popular, soda in glass bottles. Glass bottles can be
reused anywhere from 2 to 10 times and they can be melted down
to make new bottles. It also takes much less energy to produce a
glass bottle than a metal can, especially if it is aluminum.

Paper and plastic products can also be successfully recycled, if there
is an easy to use system. This system may operate at a loss but
in the long run there is a payoff to both the public and the business

One of the growing pollution problems in today's high-tech world is
electronic scrap. Millions of cell phones, computers, entertainment
equipment, kitchen appliances and so on end in in landfills. This
creates a serious pollution problem for groundwater supplies. Heavy
metals of all kinds leach from electronic scrap and eventually finds
its way into the food chain. Many human ailments can be traced to
heavy metal poisoning.

Millions of batteries are discarded each year and and most end up
in landfills thus polluting the ground water. It is incredible that many
American communities do not have any kind of battery recycling
program to help prevent this.

What you can do

It is important that each citizen uses those recycling programs that
are already in place. If they are nor used there is a chance such a
program might be cancelled due to lack of use.

Encourage government officials to start new recycling programs
whenever possible.

Reduce the amount of materials you discard. This can be done by
buying products in bulk whenever possible. Many stores today offer
a variety of products in bulk form without packaging. Re-use
packaging materials such as cardboard, styrofoam bubbles, plastic
bubble wrap and so on, as often as possible.

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