A recent video clip of recycling in Germany versus America was shared on the Flin Flon Recycling Facebook page. It shows how recycling is serious business in Germany but not really in America.
It implies that most North Americans put things in the garbage and never think of it again.
A resident of Germany describes the different colours of bags for different kinds of recyclables. He states that a garbage bag with recyclables in it will not be picked up. It states that Germany recycles 65% of its waste and uses 50% less energy than America.
The question is “How do we make change happen?”
Many argue that education and opportunity to recycle is all that’s needed. There is some evidence of this works.
There were a limited number of garbage and recycling cans at the Snowbirds event this summer and there wasn’t much litter afterwards to clean up. Most beverage containers were in recycling bins.
Several Creighton residents report they started recycling because there is free pickup.
Recycle Everywhere provides free recycling bins for public spaces and beverage container recycling rates in Manitoba are increasing.
The Facebook video clip argued that rules requiring recycling makes change happen.
The province of Nova Scotia has had laws requiring recycling and composting for many years.
Some cities and towns including The Pas require residents to buy a tag for their garbage bags and recycling pickup is free. Other cities and towns have fines for recyclables in garbage.
Many people recycle because it is the right thing to do.
Policy change is needed to get the rest of the people recycling.
It reduces landfill costs and saves resources for our grandchildren.