The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Recycling not worth it

At least once a day, I hear about environmental problems: at school, work, on television, and in the newspapers. Recycling garbage is just one of these environmental concerns.

It hits the media every time a barge filled with trash is turned away from port and has no place to go. I hear about it when my taxes are affected by the shipping cost for garbage. I see it each time I take out the trash. Sometimes I simply wonder: What is the real reason for recycling? Money, or to actually save the planet in some way?

Future generations are affected by how much recycling is done now. The last hundred years have seen an increase in new technologies assisting the nation in incorporating renewable and reusable resources in our everyday lives. I think this advancement is great. But are we as a nation using more energy and money on recycling than saving the earth and its land? Is it going to help in the long run?

Granted, there are pros to recycling. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling reduces the amount of new natural materials needed. Landfills are reduced in size, helping the environment by not contributing to pollution. And hey, it’s fun to say you helped save the planet. I remember what Captain Planet had to say: “The power is yours.”

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But at the moment, recycling isn’t effective, at least the way I would like it to be. Our society makes the nation think of short term effects versus the future benefits of reusing recyclable materials.

There is the government. The United States by far does a superior job in educating people on recycling. But not all citizens in this great country realize where trash is placed and how recycled waste is processed.

In my early days worrying about what ChapStick flavor to put on, I simply threw away my Sunkist soda can in a bin that was destined for a local landfill, regardless of its recycling potential. I know; it takes one second to place the can in the pretty green bin. But in my mind, I was thinking about my taxes. I didn’t want to pay for electrical items for the cost of eventual disposal.

There might be some individuals having background on recycling, but for others it’s not a priority. The citizens in certain areas cannot afford the tax increase for bins. If there were government programs funding for recycling instead of an industry or city program, I’m sure citizens would want to know more about recycling.

Because let’s face it: money is a word that all of us love. And since recycling costs money, those who are less educated or don’t have resources available will most likely care less.

With education, free supply to recycle and spread of word, I think recycling can be beneficial in the future. But for now, the world is too complex and money driven to care about open land from Mother Nature and reusing a plastic bottle.

I’m guilty as charged for caring about my tax dollars. Shallow? Maybe. But I guarantee at least one person reading this agrees with me.

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