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Sophia Della Rocca 11/18/13 The Law to Recycle Since recycling has been introduced, it has reduced our

carbon footprint and made our Earth cleaner. People recycle paper, reuse plastic bottles, and reduce the amount of waste they throw away. Even more can be done to make an effort in the United States. If the United States of America were to pass a law for mandatory recycling, then there would be an even larger decrease in pollution; thus forth, providing a better environment for new generations to come. People may be skeptical at first because recycling can be more costly than sending trash to a landfill. This is a conflict that can easily be eliminated by having the mandatory recycling law, which would make the cost almost obsolete, because the nation would save natural resources. This would minimize the earths polluted state, and lighten landfill damage. The most important reason is that recycling would save natural resources, which we are running out of. Factories and companies use the resources to mine ore and refine it. The resources they use like oil and coal take millions of years to be formed but only a few years to refine. Also every day people use theses resources. An article titled Coal from the Western Oregon University website states, 2010 coal was responsible for about 44.9% of the electricity generated in the United States. Natural Gas was second with 23.8%. We relay on these limited resources, for over half of our electricity. The United States makes 80 billion soda cans a year. By recycling one ton of aluminum (soda cans) it saves 1,663 gallons of oil, 40 cans recycled is the equivalent of one gallon of gasoline, and one can could run a TV for three hours according to Recycle Your City online website. Making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95 percent less energy than using virgin materials received from the article Facts About Aluminum Recycling of Earth 911 website. Recycling would mean quarries wouldnt need to mine as much, because ores like aluminum would be abundant for it can be recycled endlessly. Furthermore, it is no new knowledge that our Earth is polluted in the air and in other habitats. The result of recycling would reduce the pollution caused by sulfur dioxide from power plants and particulate matter from incinerating garbage. The amount of methane would be reduced, because there would be less material in landfills, henceforth reducing the amount of garbage that would be needed to incinerate, thus preserving the atmosphere. This would help immensely in big cities such as Los Angeles to prevent lung cancer. According to the Los Angeles Times Online newspaper 1.3 million new cases of lung cancer recorded each year The World Health Organization declared the air we breathe is a leading cause of cancer caused by smoke, asbestos, and arsenic. Also the effect of using paper from recycled material causes 74% drop of air pollution. Therefore by recycling one ton of paper, it would save 17 trees. This solves the problem of forests being destroyed because of the demand of paper, reducing the amount of new oxygen. Similar to the other problem, by recycling one ton of paper it would save 380 gallons of oil. If we recycled more, maybe the crisis of the Gulf oil spill could have been avoided; which caused 8,000 birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals to be injured or perish in just the six months after the spill. By using recycled materials there would not be a reason to use raw materials to make products that use oil. In addition, to the reasons above, The United States sent about 53.4% of its 222 million tons of municipal solid waste to landfills in 2007 received from the article Land Pollution Facts and Statistics on All-recycling-facts website. The damage produced by landfills is accumulating. However, recycling products made from paper or glass would provide more room in landfills. Landfills do not break down garbage as well as one may think. One would think that it would be fine to throw away items such as newspapers or cardboard, because it would eventually degrade. However, The Garbage Project discovered that landfills are more static structure and that biodegradation takes a lot longer than previously thought, received from South Carolina Higher Education Commissions government website, from the article Landfills; Frequently Asked Questions. It also says that newspaper, and other paper products were virtually intact after being buried for decades. By recycling theses products (one ton) would save 11.2 cubic yards of landfill space in other words, providing space for other structures besides landfills. Another problem with landfills is that some waste pollutes the soil and water around the landfill. This is caused by the new development of electronic gadgets. When theses are thrown away the toxic substances in them, such as mercury and cadmium often leaches into underground water supplies. This leads to animals

and plants dying or becoming sick in the areas that have been contaminated. By recycling these electronics it would prevent further damage to the soil and water underneath the landfill. Even though recycling has it pros, there are also many cons. The cities that do have the Mandatory Recycling Programs already say that recycling materials like glass and plastic is more costly than sending them to landfills. However, glass takes 1,000,000 years to degrade in a landfill, so by recycling it would provide more space for landfills. People may have to pay additional taxes for implementing the mandatory recycling laws and programs as a result of the law. To lower the expenses curbside pickups and automating sorting could be scaled back; also, the government could sell products that use the newly recycled material to countries. At the same time the taxes toward the programs would even out because the cost for incinerating and land filling would cut down, leaving space for other buildings. Finally, due to the program people who work in disposing waste material would loose their job. In spite of this, once the law is passed recycling programs would create more and more job opportunities for the community. Accordingly, the programs would reduce our carbon footprint; reduce disease, while improving air and water quality. In conclusion, the law for recycling would benefit the environment and the people around us; moreover, the law would provide the use of fewer natural resources, reduce pollution, and lessen the impact of landfills. This change would help our world be a better place for all of the people who live in United States of America. Recycling will always be one of the best ways we can help preserve the Earth, save money, and save natural resources. For the nations next generation to grow up in an environment that will let them become the best human beings as possible.