Recycling. Earth Committee Report

Written on: October 27, 2017

The creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) came from efforts by Senator Gaylord Nelson (WI) who called for the first EARTH DAY which was held on April 22, 1970

On December 2, 1970, the Federal Government, under President Nixon, established the EPA.

The EPA protects human health and the environment and conducts environmental assessments, research and education.  It is responsible for maintaining and enforcing national standards under a number of environment focused laws.

Recycling is one of the first ecologically aware processes used in varying degrees throughout the country as understanding of the benefits spread during the 1970’s.  The Earth Committee members took a look at how it was being accomplished in the locale in which they lived.

What we learned is that the major areas where we live do have single stream recycling, although it isn’t always an option for those living in large residential complexes.

Cheektowaga, NY:  has single stream recycling. The complex in Liberty Park is not yet using it but the management is open to recommendations from a resident committee which formed to look into it.

New York has single stream recycling.

Philadelphia, PA: The Sanitation Department does curbside pickup for apartment housing of 6 units or fewer on a  weekly basis. Larger housing units and businesses must pay for refuse pickup. Sorting of recycled items in separate containers is an expectation. The Bustleton Avenue offices began single-stream recycling Oct. 6.

Baltimore County, Maryland

Baltimore County has Single Stream collection.  The collection schedule is online for single family homes. Apartments and condos check in with individual property managers for details.

This sign created with re-purposed materials

This sign created with re-purposed materials

Other suggestions to use in addition to recyclingreuse and repurpose items before tossing and buy products made from recycled materials. The sign pictured above (Re-Source) and the one pictured to the left, were made from re-cycled materials.The store dismantles donated items to use the parts in a variety of creative ways. They also offer craft classes to adults and children to teach how much fun it can be to re-purpose something. It is located in North Carolina.

Single Stream Recycling

Single Stream Recycling is a system in which all paper fibers, plastics, metals, and other containers are mixed in a collection truck, instead of being sorted by the depositor into separate containers.  In single stream, both the collection and processing are being separated for reuse at a special materials recovery facility (MRF). 

Single Stream Pluses:

  • reduces items at the curb
  • One compartment trucks are less expensive
  • new materials can be added to the list
  • Increases personal and planet-wide awareness of environmental pollution

Single Stream Minuses:

  • uses more energy
  • only possible in cities
  • more potential for landfill

There are other resources available on this website, including our blog about recycling efforts. We will be continuing this series in the coming months. Do you know what type of recycling YOUR community has? Like us, you may be surprised to find out! Please let us know what you discover!

3 thoughts on “Recycling. Earth Committee Report

  1. Craig Borchardt says:

    Thanks for posting! The world needs to do more recycling.

    1. Craig Borchardt says:

      Now we just need to get more composing going. In New York City and California people can have their kitchen scraps composted rather than sending them into a landfill.

      1. Maryellen Glackin says:

        That is also a great suggestion, Craig. Something we can all do, right in our own kitchens and gardens.

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