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About Recycling

Recycled art sculptureRecycling is the process of recovering, reprocessing, and reusing waste materials that would otherwise be discarded and sent to landfills. Paper, yard trimmings, food, metals, plastic, and glass are the materials most commonly collected and processed. Recycling is among several strategies outlined by the sustainable materials management hierarchy of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with source reduction and reuse, energy recovery, and treatment and disposal. Although the process of reusing items or finding different uses for them is not new, recycling on a large scale did not gain widespread support in the United States until the late 1960s when people became aware of its environmental benefits.(Opposing Viewpoints)

Narrow the Topic

  • Is recycling worth the trouble?
  • Do the benefits of recycling outweigh the costs?
  • Is recycling good for the environment?
  • What gets recycled into what?
  • Does recycling save energy?
  • Why can't we just recycle everything?
  • Can we make a difference?
  • How does recycling fit into sustainability?