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We’ve all stood in front of our kitchen trash cans, holding what we assume is garbage and had the thought, “Is this recyclable?” The split second decision where we determine the fate of our trash, and ultimately, our planet. Recycling can be tricky; different areas are serviced by different companies who all have different regulations about the products they are able to service. It can be overwhelming and it often causes us to default to the easiest answer ‘just toss it in the trash.’ 

 

The plight of recycling is not all doom and gloom though. In 2019, a piece of legislation was introduced: The Recycle Act of 2019 (S. 2941). This act would create a new federal grant program through the EPA to educate households and consumers about residential and community recycling programs. This act would influence broad education systems and networks that would empower all Americans to know what materials are recyclable.

 

According to Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the American Forest & Paper Association, in her recent article hosted on www.thehill.com, Paper is the most recycled material in the U.S. The nation’s paper recovery for recycling rate hit a record 68.1 percent in 2018, a metric that has met or exceeded 63 percent for the past decade. In fact, according to the EPA, more paper (by weight) is recovered for recycling from municipal waste streams than glass, plastic, steel and aluminum combined.

 

Brock continues, “The paper products industry is extremely proud of these successes, but we also recognize our recycling system is faced with challenges that begin at the bin.

Recycling will only be successful if local communities have the tools they need to recycle effectively, and that effort starts with each of us – at home, at school, at work and on-the-go.”

 

Millions of purchases arrive at homes in corrugated boxes each day, and the recycling of these paper-based products are a bright spot in the recycling world; recycling isn’t broken… it is working! Document Destruction, onsite residential and commercial paper shredding (serving Cincinnati, Dayton, and Lexington) is part of the recycling success story.

 

Heidi Brock writes, “Paper recycling is a bright spot because there is a well-established infrastructure already in place to collect and process paper to serve dynamic, complex and efficient markets for recovered fiber. More than 96 percent of all corrugated containers consumed in the U.S. in 2018 were recovered for recycling, which means they ended up being made into new products rather than being wasted. In fact, recycled box fibers are reused at least seven times to make new products like new corrugated containers, paperboard boxes for things like dry food, and construction paper and paperboard. That accomplishment reflects the efforts of millions of American consumers combined with the industry’s commitment and infrastructure to create a strong market for paper-based recycling.”

 

Document Destruction, Cincinnati’s On-Site Paper Shredding Company, is part of the concerned and active community when it comes to recycling. We strive to play an important role in our environment’s sustainability and success. Reducing waste in the environment is an important goal we all share. 

The Recycle Act of 2019, and similar efforts will continue to inform and educate our communities so that consumers feel empowered to make the right choices when it comes to ‘to recycle or not to recycle…that is the question.”