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Alanna Novosel 1 EDUC 775, Drexel University

Recycling!
Alanna Novosel Drexel University EDUC 775 August 6, 2013

Alanna Novosel 2 EDUC 775, Drexel University

For my second digital artifact, I wanted to approach and investigate the topic of recycling while using a method of multimedia that I felt would share my idea appropriately. I chose to use Voicethread to present my artifact because its a tool that Im a little familiar with and I hope this experience would give me a bit more exposure to how it works. My decision to focus on recycling comes from my recent frustration over several containers being refused during trash and recycling collection at my own home. Ive realized recently that I dont seem to know exactly what can and cannot be recycled. While there are some things Id like to be doing to help with sustainability, I fear they will never actually happen because the other choice is just too simple. However, recycling is something that has become available to everyone and I already pay for it, so I might as well use it and use is well. "Recycling means separating, collecting, processing, marketing, and ultimately using a material that would have been thrown away, (United States Environmental Protection Agenc y). It is our responsibility as consumers to separate the materials properly and then to reuse the reprocessed materials. I think the most important part of that process is separating correctly. Aside from it being the beginning of the process, I think that it is also the easiest step for consumers to do. As long as they are made aware of how and where they can recycle their materials. In my experience, it seems as though people dont need to care very much to recycle. They will recycle their material as long as it is convenient. Hence the need for clearly marked, and easily accessible recycling receptacles. This is also why I claim that it is the easiest step for consumers to take. Interestingly enough, I came across Recycle on the Go, a movement started by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Recycle on the Go, is an EPA initiative to encourage recycling in public places such as parks, stadiums, convention centers, airports and other transportation hubs, shopping centers, and at special events, (U.S. EPA). This initiative is geared at making recycling easy and accessible. If you look at the website, they provide you with information about how you can set up a recycling center in a local area. There is a step by step guide on what to do. Although it seems recycling centers, or receptacles are appearing all over the place, there could always be more. If more people were aware of information on how to set up a center, than we could have even more material recycled. Once I began searching for information on recycling, I came across some very frightening and interesting facts about the level of involvement of consumers as well as information about how the recycling program has grown over time. To begin, I found that

Alanna Novosel 3 EDUC 775, Drexel University

although 75% of waste is recyclable, we only recycle 30% of it, (www.epa.gov). Also, were you aware that it takes one, 15 year-old tree to make 700 grocery bags, (www.dosomething.org). (Reusable bags come in handy here). And, in 2009, Americans produced enough trash to circle the Earth 24 times! On the other hand, in 2010, paper recycling increased over 89% since 1990. Learning these facts worried me a bit, but they also motivated me to search for more information about what exactly can be recycled and why it is important to recycle. Recycling is important because it, not only conserves natural resources and reduces the amount of waste that must be burned or buried, it also reduces pollution and the demand for energy, (Zeller, T. 2008). Also, Recycling helps to create jobs and stimulate the economy, (U.S. EPA). When you recycle you are contributing to the well-being and success of the environment and you are helping to ensure that future generations have just as beautiful a place to live as we do now. By recycling, you are helping to create a sustainable environment. Lastly, I wanted to go over what is considered recyclable material. What may seem quite simple to some is a bit confusing for me. Here is a list found on A Recycling Revolution of what most recycling centers will take: aluminum and steel cans; magazines; newspapers; corrugated cardboard; paper and paperboard; plastic; and glass. Within those categories there are some restrictions. For plastic, look at the bottom of the carton to see if it is labeled with PETE 1 or HDPE 2. If so, they will be accepted. Otherwise, they will not. Also for plastic, you should just throw away the caps because most centers will not recycle these as they are made out of other materials. For corrugated cardboard, most centers will not accept used pizza boxes. This was a surprise to me because I swear Ive seen my parents and others recycle these boxes. And lastly, centers will not accept some materials that are made of glass. These include: light bulbs, ceramics, pyrex and mirrors. Although there are probably more little details that go with recycling these materials, this list should serve as an easy guide for recycling. Ultimately, we all know how important it is to recycle, we just need to be made aware of what to recycle and where. Once that simple information is placed in front of us, it should be a no-brainer!

Alanna Novosel 4 EDUC 775, Drexel University

References: United States Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov Grabianowski, E. How Recycling Works. How Stuff Works. Retrieved from: http://science.howstuffworks. com/environmental/green-science/recycling1.htm 11 Facts About Recycling. Do Something. Retrieved from: www.dosomething.org A Recycling Revolution. (2011). Retrieved from: www.recycling-revolution.com