With the recent problems for recycling in the aftermath of China's ban on waste imports, some are wondering if recycling still matters. It does.
However, we must be much more aware of the current limitations and possibilities when it comes to recycling at home.
Still Turning the Old into the New - Recycling in 2021
Recyclers in the U.S. took a major hit a few years ago when they lost their major market outlet for excess recyclable waste materials.
As one website noted,
"As part of its National Sword policy imposed in January 2018, China all but banned the import of waste, sending shockwaves through the US recycling industry and cutting off a waste outlet that had been in operation for almost 25 years.
China didn’t stop importing recyclables entirely, however, it raised the bar for purity to 99.5 percent, a figure that was essentially impossible for exporters to meet using existing recycling infrastructure. Ultimately, it ended its support for increasingly non-selective single-stream recycling programs that bundled all types of recyclables together, with little care to its contamination or value."
Other markets and outlets have been developed and utilized, in some cases to the point of overwhelming those nations with waste products from the U.S. and other countries. But, since waste never ceases being generated and new consumer goods continue to be produced and in demand, recycling continues to be an essential practice.
Navigating the Bumps on the Road to Recycling Nirvana
While there are issues with the way our overall recycling processes are working in the United States, the practice is still viable, essential, and improving.
Some practices such as single-stream recycling have been criticized as inefficient.
Single-stream recycling is the use of a single bin for the collection of all recyclables. This approach requires no sorting from consumers and businesses and all the materials are hauled in the same truck and then sorted when they arrive at the materials recovery facility , or MRF.
An alternative to single-stream recycling is dual-stream recycling, which remains popular in various states and cities. This approach typically requires the separation of plastics, glass, and metals from paper and cardboard by consumers. These will go into separate bins, or carts, and the waste haulers typically collect the different materials in separate trucks.
According to a post from RTS, the disadvantages of single-stream recycling include:
- Often leads to aspirational recycling where materials that cannot be recycled are added to single-stream bins
- Lower quality of mixed materials means contaminated waste goes to landfill—particularly broken glass and paper
- Higher costs within sorting and processing facilities may lead to low recycling rates or material export with little transparency as to final processing
- Materials do not always separate efficiently leading to low-quality recycled material. Additionally, manual monitoring and sorting remains necessary
Despite these shortcomings, the benefit of this approach is that far more people tend to participate and have contributed significantly higher rates of recycling than in the past.
Why Recycling Still Matters - A Graphic Snapshot
The need to recycle has not diminished and the collective benefits and advantages we acquire from recycling continue to increase. Recycling contributes to the environment and the economy in various ways and technology is rapidly developing and bringing promising advances to the industry.
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Junk King - Going Green Since 2005
When we founded Junk King in 2005, we were the first recycling-based junk removal company and we continue to work hard to recycle at least 60 percent of every load we bring in.
This is good for our communities, our towns, our neighborhoods, and our planet.
And, today, Junk King is proud to be North America’s greenest residential and commercial junk removal service. We achieve this by sorting each and every job for glass, metals, e-waste, paper, household goods, textiles, furniture and appliances, all in our recycling warehouses.
"Being green” for us also means that we donate and reuse everything we can from old clothing and used toys, baby cribs and strollers, to office furniture, equipment, and supplies.
At Junk King, we also realize that not all junk removal companies out there properly dispose of waste. That's why we believe you should only hire a company that will recycle as much material as possible, and one that is committed to a clean environment and zero waste practices.
So, thank you for your support!
Recycling Made Easy with Junk Removal from Junk King
We can provide you with a truly simple and efficient option for your large recycling needs.
Junk King provides professional junk hauling services to remove any and all of your junk including anything made with glass, metal, paper, and plastic - and we'll even remove your excess trash and garbage. We also have the equipment and teams to remove a large refrigerators and other appliances down stairways, up your basement steps, or out through your garage.
Whatever your junk consists of, Junk King can help you get it out of the way. We provide an eco-friendly junk removal service to help you get rid of any unwanted junk, large trash items, or any old appliances.
Our professional and insured junk removal team will show up at your home or office, and we'll call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive. Once there, we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your junk takes up in our truck.
You point and we haul your unwanted items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees. It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
You can make an appointment with us by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).