"America doesn't just need to recycle more, it needs to recycle better." That's what I wrote in America Recycles Day in 2018 and recycled forTrevor Noah on Asian countries refusing the West's recycling on America Recycles Day. That's a sentiment I should have also repeated in Vox explains why we're recycling wrong — Student Sustainability Video Festival 82, which contained the same message. I get my chance to reuse my observation as an introduction to It's Okay To Be Smart's Recycling Is Broken. Here’s How We Can Fix It.
If everyone would just put more in the recycling bin instead of the trash can, the world would be a better place. Right? Well, that’s not exactly true. For many items that end up in the recycling bin, you’ve actually created more trash by trying to recycle them. You’ve also made it harder to recycle the stuff that CAN be saved, and basically demonstrated that recycling is broken… at least the way we do it today. Here’s how we can fix it.That's a good summary of both the problems with supply — Americans unintentionally contaminating the recycling stream with items that don't belong or that need to be cleaned up — and demand — China and other Asian countries no longer accepting our recycling for sorting. Now it's up to us to both clean up the supply and figure out how to do more of our own sorting economically.
So, as It's Okay To Be Smart asks in a comment to the video, "how are you going to become a better recycler?"