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    How did you all find week two? Are you going to change your waste habits now that you have seen the recycling facilities and know more about the economics behind recycling? If so how?


    It was depressing to hear that some recyclable items are not recycled due to low profitability. I think that manufacturers should be taxed on their products based on the impact it has on the environment (to make, to dispose of etc). It isn’t right that companies can make huge profits on their products while creating very expensive environmental problems. We have to pay extra for disposal fees for tires and motor oil – why don’t we have to pay for the convenience of single use containers? As a result of this class, I will be separating my recyclables as much as possible (paper and cardboard to go to the school’s paper collection dumpsters) and plastic bags and wraps will be bundled together to take to the grocery store drop off. I will be making better choices at the point of purchase to avoid having to recycle so much.


    I really enjoyed our field trip this week. Getting a closer look at the recycling process was very interesting. I always assumed that if it is recyclable and thrown into the blue bins it would be recycled. Watching the sorting process and seeing recyclables wasted is definitely sad. I understand the economics of it, but I just wish that there was more that can be done to reduce waste. I am still confused on a few items that can or cannot be recycled; such as bags(food bags, packaging, etc..). I think that there needs to be some sort of legislation that streamlines the recycling industry. Make the process’ the same everywhere. All of the differences make it difficult and confusing for the general public and my guess is reduces usage rates for recycling programs.
    When I was young my parents were very good at not wasting anything and I think that attitude was passed down to me. I usually try and think about NEEDS and not WANTS. This ideal has always helped me to think about my purchases. After the week where we went to the landfill and briefly discussed consumerism and the effect it has on waste and then seeing the recycling facility I am more aware of my overall waste. I just want to be better at wasting less and finding ways to get the very most out of what I do use and buy.


    Going to the recycling plant was very interesting. What was most striking is the realization that the plant is foremost a business, not an environmental cause. I think a lot of people, including myself, initially think of the recycling industry as “the good people,” —out to save the planet; but they are really just mining resources, and they will only go so far. I think streamlining a recycling system, and creating clear material standards to make the whole process easier is a very good idea.

    Seeing human beings sort through others’ recycling (and garbage) confirmed what had originally just been my imagination. It forces me to think even harder about what I put in the blue can because I know now that it will directly affect other people. I now try to make their jobs as easy as possible. I don’t recycle plastic grocery bags at home. I separate materials as much as I can. I throw away materials I (now) know they won’t use. Realizing that certain materials are worthless after their one-time use, my focus is shifting to what I purchase in the store, especially to what kind of packaging goods come in.


    I appreciate having the experience of visiting the recycling plant and getting the first-hand point of view of who is processing the materials. I was told on a previous field trip long ago that tying any plastic bag into a knot will help stop them from blowing around, that seems to be a good idea still in order to keep them out of the machinery at the plant. I’ve always thought that the answer to making people recycle would be to make garbage worth money, though I don’t know the answer to fluctuating prices for the separate materials (i.e. aluminum and plastics). This experience will impact what I buy based on its packaging, and help me to determine what items are truly recyclable.


    No day like Thursday to jump on here eh 😉 Along with the others, I also see it good to separate materials ourselves as much as we can before dumping into our blue bins. I found it interesting to see workers having to rip open garbage bags to disperse the materials onto the moving belt (I mean DUH! Of course they would need to, just did not think of it before). I already have been dumping my bags into my home blue bin, though from the perspective of reusing the garbage bag for inside use (over and over and over). It was also a relief to hear in class that items do not need to be washed out completely. If more people knew this directly, I think that would increase recycling because it goes along with convenience. (Hey, now there REALLY needs to be a recycling bin at that frozen yogurt joint I visited last week!) Overall, loved the recycling plant we visited. Say, can I do my 10 hours of community service there?!!! ;D Thanks for all you guys are doing.


    I already started rinsing my recyclables, and I stopped bagging them, too. My husband and I are trying to figure out what stuff we can refuse from the beginning so we don’t even have to put stuff in the recycle bin. He loves to by disposable water bottles, but he is now considering getting some reusable ones. The visit really opened my eyes to how stuff may still end up at the landfill. So we are working on refusing—I also created an account for both of us on Here you can opt out of junk mail. For free!


    I definitely was impacted by the recycling facility. I took some great footage of both the landfill and Rocky Mountain Recycling and used it in a Sustainability Math Lesson. The kids were really blown away by the photos and videos and when they had to calculate how much waste goes into the landfill, they were really surprised. I’ve adjusted what plastics I recycle now and I NEVER leave the caps on my milk and soda bottles!

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