PRO MANDATORY RECYCLING * “Recycling is so beneficial for our planet that it should definitely be required. In an ideal world, everyone would voluntarily recycle, but let’s face it: That’s never going to happen. It makes me so angry when I watch students in my school throw their plastic water bottles in the trash can when there is a recycling can right next to it! * “Nearly 70 million tons of material are kept away from landfills each year thanks to recycling, according to the National Recycling Coalition. “If we have just 30 percent of the population recycling, we’d reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as if we removed 25 million cars from the road! Imagine how many greenhouse gas emissions we could get rid of if everyone recycled. * “It’s so easy to recycle, and if more people do it, then it becomes more cost-effective. Some people against mandatory recycling say that it’s costly, but recycling is a less expensive process if more people are involved.
In fact, two years after New York City decided that mandatory recycling was a drain on the city — costing $40 million — they discovered that a redesigned, more efficient recycling system could actually save the city $20 million! New York City has now signed a 20-year recycling contract. * “We need to get more cities and states on board with mandatory recycling. In addition to helping the environment, recycling programs help stimulate the economy by creating more jobs. The benefits of mandatory recycling far outweigh the drawbacks, and it’s up to you, CosmoGIRL! eaders, to get your cities on board! Write to your local official and let her or him know how you feel about mandatory recycling. Your actions can make all the difference! ” —Laura Carusco, 18, New York City, NY ANTI MANDATORY RECYCLING * “Mandatory recycling is one of the newest fads in the ‘go green’ movement. But what you may not realize is that it’s also one of the most costly and wasteful activities to infiltrate America. * “Contrary to what most people think, recycling does not save irreplaceable sources. Take a look at the current prices for everyday items, like paper.
According to the concept of supply and demand, since the price is so cheap, there must be a large supply that backs it up. For example, a pack of notebook paper ranges from just 20 cents to 50 cents. If we were at risk of running out of trees, the price would be much higher. * “Also, by using less of one resource, we are inevitably using more of others. Daniel K. Benjamin, senior associate of the Property and Environment Research Center, stated in a report that “on average, curbside recycling is 35 to 55 percent more costly nationwide than conventional disposal. Benjamin goes on to say that in Seattle, where the council decided to make recycling mandatory, they are wasting resources by charging too much for trash pickup and not charging enough for recycling pickup. Also, think about all of the extra pollution caused by the recycling pickup trucks! It’s like having a garbage truck come through twice a week instead of just once. * “It’s also a misconception that we’re running out of room in our landfills. There is enough room just in America to last us for years, and we can always add landfills.
Another misconception is that our trash is harmful, but according to the Environmental Protection Agency, a cancer-related death due to modern landfills only occurs about once every 50 years. Cancer causes over half a million deaths a year in the United States alone, so one cancer-related death every 50 years doesn’t even compare. * “Although voluntary recycling has its benefits, it is completely unnecessary and wasteful to make it mandatory. ” —Aliza Sajjad, 18, Concord, CA