I closed Devita Davison explains how urban agriculture is transforming Detroit — Student Sustainability Video Festival 81 by telling my readers "With luck, I'll return to regular blogging tomorrow. If not, I have plenty of videos from my students' presentations to choose from." I finished grading my students' final exams, computing their grades, and submitting them yesterday, but it took a lot out of me. Since the update I promised of On The Issues shows most of the Democratic candidates have moved left during the campaign, too is a big project that I just started and won't finish today, I'm featuring another video that one of my students used as part of her presentation, Vox's Why you're recycling wrong, which is one I wanted to post here anyway.* My student showing it and my need to recover just gave me the excuses I needed.
Knowing what you can and can’t recycle isn’t easy. But when you put stuff that can’t be recycled into that blue bin, it can turn entire hauls of otherwise recyclable materials into trash.I've been more careful about how and what I recycle since I watched the video, even more so after watching it in my student's presentation. I hope my readers will be, too.
People try to recycle everything. Waste management workers routinely find bowling balls, batteries, Christmas lights, animal carcasses, even dirty diapers. In 2018, about 25% of items that Americans tried to recycle were actually non-recyclable trash, known as "contamination." The more contamination that enters recycling plants, the more likely a waste management company will simply send the entire haul, including items that could be recycled, to a landfill.
Watch the video above to learn more about why Americans’ recycling habits are trash, and how you can prevent recycling contamination.
*I've already collected the data. I just need to sort it, write the post, and create the memes. The entry should be ready tomorrow. Stay tuned.