Recycling is as important as it ever was

Nov. 15 was National Recycling Day – it’s a good time to evaluate your recycling record.

By recycling, we keep materials from going to the landfill, decrease the amount of air and water pollution, and lower the amount of new mining and harvesting while providing a boost to the economy.

You know all the reasons to recycle, but it seems too much trouble? Really?

A recent report by USEPA included the fact that in 2012 only 53 percent of the domestic aluminum cans were recycled which meant a loss of $900 million because the cans ended up in landfills, ditches or other sites that didn’t provide jobs as well as the value of the aluminum. What a waste.

Similar information can be given for each of the materials easily recycled locally: cardboard, newspaper, magazines, office paper, glass, steel cans and plastics.

At the Marietta Area Recycling Center (MARC), plastics numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 (most of you will recognize these numbers as being in the triangle of chasing arrows on the bottom of most plastic containers) can be accepted. These are sent to Mondo Polymer Technologies as part of their feed stock – supporting local manufacturing jobs and business. The process used at their plant enables MARC to recycle a greater diversity of household plastics than any of the other local options. If you are taking advantage of Marietta’s Pay-As-You-Throw option, disposal costs will be less. Please remember to remove spray-pump tops and other lids with metal inserts from plastic items and leave No. 3, No. 6 and No. 7 at home, please.

Because of the incredible group of volunteers (more help is always needed – just call 373-3372) and the donations in the donation tube at the center, the Marietta Area Recycling Center (MARC) on Gilman is taking in and shipping more materials than ever.

The volunteers at the Gilman center believe recycling should be convenient and so the site is available for the public to drop off and to sort their materials 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether people are coming to Marietta to work, shop, go to church or a movie, the site is available.

The volunteers are especially appreciative of those who conscientiously sort their materials – “If you’re not sorting you’re not recycling” is a favorite slogan. And one has only to think about it for a few minutes to realize that the earlier in the journey between home and the ultimate manufacturer that the sorting is done, the more likely that material will be recycled and not sent to landfill because of contamination.

Recycling should be an easily acquired habit since we buy items separately and we use the contents of containers separately so it should be easy to keep containers separate when they are empty. Recyclables only have value when they are properly sorted without contamination.

If you are not recycling now, isn’t it time you start? Whether you use Marietta’s curbside program, the recycling trailers that visit communities around the county, the center on Colegate Drive or Marietta Area Recycling Center, now is the time to form the recycling habit.

And do consider putting a check or cash in the donation tube while you are at the Marietta Area Recycling Center – donations are necessary to keep the center in operation.

Marilyn Ortt of 701 Colegate Drive, Marietta, is a member of the Marietta City Tree Commission. Our Earth appears on alternate weeks in the weekend edition.