Manassas, VA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/30/2012 -- Although the process of recycling may seem like a modern idea, it is actually a concept that dates back thousands of years. Before the emergence of the industrial age, it was common for humans to simply reuse an item over and over again until it could no longer serve its purpose. However, as disposables grew increasingly common, the need for a modern recycling program emerged.
The concept of recycling and conservation in America became important in the 1930s and 1940s, when economic depression hit, and many people simply could not afford to buy new household items. Additionally, goods such as metal, nylon, and rubber were rationed during World War II, so recycling helped to support the war effort. As awareness of environmental issues grew in the 1960s and 1970s, recycling became a mainstream practice.
In the year 1960, each person in the United States generated 2.68 pounds of waste. In the year 2000, this rose all the way to 4.65 pounds of waste. However, as we have become a more wasteful society, we have also become one that recycles more of this waste. Between 1980 and 2005, the amount of our waste that was recycled grew from 9.6 percent to 32 percent.
Today, the importance of recycling is widely recognized throughout the United States. In fact, it is currently likely that more people recycle in the U.S. than vote, and many areas have recycling rules and/or laws. In Washington, D.C., recycling is required by law in all commercial establishments, including residential buildings with four or more apartments, colleges, and churches. The Maryland Recycling Act (MRA) requires Baltimore City and all Maryland counties to recycle 15% to 20% (depending on population) of their total waste. Virginia has a law that requires electronics manufacturers and sellers to have recycling plans in place for their customers. As one can see by the recent implementation of these laws, recycling is recognized as a crucial component of minimizing the amount of a region’s space that is used for landfills, reducing litter, and preventing the amount of toxins such as nickel, cadmium, CRTs, mercury, and flame retardants that end up leaching from plastics, batteries, and electronics into the environment.
Recycling is an integral component of preserving our valuable natural resources and preserving our water, air, and land. In 2006, the recycling rate of 32.5 percent saved the carbon emission equivalent of taking 39.4 million cars off the road, or 222.1 million barrels of oil. If we continue to increase our recycling efforts, we can continue to vastly improve our energy conservation. In fact, if we all recycled all of our aluminum cans for just one year, we could save enough energy to light all of Washington, D.C. for 3.7 years, according to one study. Furthermore, it is important to recycle in the DC, MD, and VA areas in order to be in compliance with local laws. For more information about convenient recycling services in your area, please contact EnviroSolutions, Inc, or visit ESIWaste.com.
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