Jan 12, 2018 in Informative

Mandatory Residential Recycling Program

Mandatory recycling has remained quite unpopular in the United States as people consider landfills more efficient as well as cheaper option for a struggling economy. The idea that first got to the public limelight a decade ago has refused to sell among Americans. Although the economy was not hard hit at the moment, people still resisted it because they eventually realized that it would cost the taxpayer more than just disposing of the waste materials. At the moment, feelings have significantly hardened on this matter, especially considering that the effects of the economic recession have refused to go completely. The public cannot buy the idea at this point when most people are giving up on looking for jobs because they cannot find any. It is evident that people want the government to focus on priority areas instead of issues that can be differed. The worst thing that has happened in respect of this project is the realization that recycling costs much more that disposing waste products. Eventually, people remain asking themselves why the government would stick to an issue that has no real benefits to its citizens. The fact that America’s landfills still have a large capacity to accommodate the waste materials has made it impossible for people to buy the idea. They keep asking what the hurry is about if America can still use its landfills without causing environmental hazards. However, environmentalists emphasize that America should start implementing mandatory recycling now instead of waiting for its landfills to pose environmental hazard to kick off the process. According to them, it is better if the government embarked on the project now rather than wait. Nonetheless, their efforts have not yielded much fruits considering that most people prioritize economic issues over environmental conservation. Politicians particularly find it difficult selling the idea during the electioneering period because it is uncertain what the electorate respond to it (Carl, page 5).   

The relative unpopularity of the program arises from the fact that other options have been found to be more reliable that recycling. For example, public education on responsible use of disposable products can encouraged as it looks less economically burdening. However, corporate maintain that proper ways can be used in such a manner that makes recycling more effective and economical. It is the reason why the issue keeps coming up every election time given that politicians have not given up on implementing the idea. There have been proposals to ship the recycled products to developing countries that desperately need them as this will help raise some money to support recycling. They argue that with the right mindset, recycling can be made self sustaining so that people do not need to worry about the economic challenges that it poses. Although most proponents of recycling look up to the developing world for ready market, there has been the thought that with the right marketing strategies, recycling can be widely acceptable and recycled products more popular in the United States. This will significantly ease the burden of recycling because the reality was that some of the recycled products still found their way into the landfills as people were unwilling to buy them. In fact, it has previously been proposed that manufacturers should adopt marketing strategies that will make recycled products marketable locally before thinking of foreign markets. Indeed, this thought has made several cities in the United States to re-think their recycling plans after they initially intended to abandon it due to lack of public goodwill. The city of New York was the first to implement the program and certainly served as the case study for most other cities. The project has remained widely successful because it was designed to work in a more efficient manner. Eventually, private firms also adopted the idea when they realized that they could generate more income by recycling some of their used products. Initially, New York City withdrew its recycling of glass products, but later reinstated it after research found it economically viable with minor adjustments (Foster, page 22).

Businesses are the most affected by mandatory recycling law that is being implemented in various cities in the United States. Although citizens are given free will to decide on what to do with their wastes, a few cities have passed laws requiring businesses to recycle their wastes. For example, the law is already operational in San Diego and Pittsburg for a few years now. This implies that it has become illegal to keep any recyclable products in business garbage or residential garbage. Indeed, it should be appreciated that this directive has negatively impacted on the businesses and residential homes given the cost of putting up new structures to recycle the products. So many businesses have been fined large sums of money for not being compliant to the new regulation. The concerned government agencies first give warnings to businesses whose garbage containers are found to have wastes that can be recycled. If the trend does not appear to change, punitive steps are often taken on these businesses. In some cities, garbage containers with recyclables are left uncollected until the owners remove the recyclables. This certainly hurts businesses, but more so residences given the economic burden of setting up a recycling plant. This is the reason why cities like Honolulu only apply the law to businesses, and not to residences. The belief is that residences are less likely to comply and this may simply contribute to further environmental degradation when their garbage containers are not collected (Brunner, page 99).

Politicians can still win over businesses and residences where the law is strictly applied by committing to provide logistic aid in recycling. For example, they can promise such businesses that they would make it a government policy to help businesses in setting up recycling plants. This will significantly ease the burden of setting up one, something that businesses and residences have been complaining about for quite some time. In addition, they can promise these businesses that they would help them get ready market for their recycled products. For example, rolling out a rigorous campaign to popularize recycled products in the country may seem unrealistic, but will yield positive results in the long time. These will prevent backlash from the electorate who seem more concerned about economic benefits of recycling as compared to the environmental benefits. Essentially, politicians will have achieved two major issues with just a single shot (Voters, page 23).

In conclusion, mandatory recycling has remained quite unpopular in the United States as people consider landfills more efficient as well as cheaper option for a struggling economy. The idea that first got to the public limelight a decade ago has refused to sell among Americans. The relative unpopularity of the program arises from the fact that other options have been found to be more reliable that recycling. For example, public education on responsible use of disposable products can encouraged as it looks less economically burdening. However, corporate maintain that proper ways can be used in such a manner that makes recycling more effective and economical. Businesses are the most affected by mandatory recycling law that is being implemented in various cities in the United States. However, politicians can still win their support by committing to provide logistic aid in recycling as well as find them ready markets for the recycled products.

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