JeffCO H20: Recycle, downcycle, upcycle, ecycle, precycle . . . What’s it all mean???

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve

According to the EPA, recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials which otherwise would be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products, thereby conserving raw materials, lowering energy consumption, curtailing littering, and reducing impact on landfills. 

Recycling is not a 20th century idea.  The first documented recycling program began in 1031 when Japan required that documents and other used paper be recycled.  Various forms of recycling came and went over the ensuing centuries, but it wasn’t until the all-aluminum beverage can was introduced in the late 1950s that recycling gained traction in America.  Today, many US communities advocate and provide recycling opportunities for residents.

530325_10150945940686155_1005889778_nPinson’s community recycling trailer located at City Hall

So how are we doing?  At 4.6 pounds of trash per day for every American, we generate much more trash than we recycle.  The EPA estimates that while 75% of America’s trash…

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