To the Editor:
Editor Cal Bryant’s column on Feb. 13, “Go Green”, was a fun article that is totally true.
Think about it, remember when we used to return our Pepsi/Coke bottles for cleaning and refilling. Milk was the same way. But in our new fast pace world people don’t feel that they have time to save and honestly we don’t see the need to recycle. However, our failure to recycle today will have lasting effects on our future. We may not think that recycling is really important today, but future generations will pay for our failure to recycle.
Counties and towns in North Carolina offer opportunities for recycling cans, plastic, paper and other items, but many citizens choose not to use recycle bins. It doesn’t cost you anything, except for a little effort.
When my family moved to New York, we were introduced to their recycle plan; a five cents deposit on each aluminum can, glass container and plastic bottle at purchase. Then there were vending machines in the grocery stores where you put your aluminum can in the machine which crushed it and gave you your five cents refund on each item. Currently about seven states have the same or similar recycle programs. I believe that a similar system in our state would give people more incentive to recycle.
You should ride to the Bertie landfill near Aulander and see the mountain of trash. It is huge. Just imagine how much we could cut down on that mountain if we took out all of the plastic, metals and paper.
Some facts are that trash has negative effects on the environment and the economy. Paper makes up nearly 30% of solid waste each year, and in 2014 Americans recycled about 65% of the paper they used. Like paper, glass can be recycled over and over. Americans used about 11.5 million tons of glass in 2014 and about 26% was recovered for recycling.
Plastics are probably the most recyclable product that is wasted. Look at all of the plastic bags flying around our roads and parking lots. Americans generated 33 million tons of plastic in 2014; only 9.5% were recycled. Recycling one ton of plastic bags saves about 11 barrels of oil. Do you think that could have an effect on gas prices?
Plastic bottles are used for many of our household products, especially soft drinks. These bottles can be easily recycled and save oil.
I am not one of those green nuts for the environment; however, recycling is good citizenship. We can help improve the environment with less trash and save our vital natural resources. We can also help our economy by recycling and saving the cost of making products.
Think about it, we can recycle now or pay later. Prices of goods will go up as the cost of these containers increase.
I encourage everyone to recycle everything you can. It is easy and available in our local towns and counties.
Johnnie Ray Farmer
Hertford Co. Commissioner