The City Council has been taking steps to correct that situation though, and starting in April 2011, electronics manufacturers will be required to take back their products for recycling, and by 2015, it will no longer be legal to leave consumer electronics for residential trash collection. The city is also trying to find ways to expand the municipal composting program- as Lucy Siegle, environmental journalist for The Observer newspaper, explains in the introduction to Recycle The Essential Guide, organic material in the landfill is actually worse than inorganic material , because it leaches toxins into the ground, and also releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Currently, the nearest commercial composting center to NYC is in Delaware- no wonder it’s so difficult to get rid of our compostable plastic cups every summer!
All of which is to say, if you are interested in sustainability, creative reuse and waste management, you are probably already quite busy recycling everything you possibly can- and you will definitely enjoy this book.
Published in a new edition by Black Dog Publishing, this well-designed and information-packed guide makes a clear argument for increased recycling. Organized into sections by material, the book covers paper, plastic, glass, e-waste, textiles and metals with eye-catching graphics, bold colors and case studies from around the world.
While much of the information and resources focus on the UK, there’s still plenty to interest an American reader, including detailed explanations of the recycling processes and a fair evaluation of the resources expended in the various recycling schemes explored in the book. I also enjoyed the pull quotes that featured prominently throughout- well-known thinkers and activists in the climate crisis field providing clear, inspiring soundbites that articulate the need for more extensive recycling, especially here in the US.
As the stories in Recycle The Essential Guide show, recycling is not only a vital part of a total sustainability plan in any community, taking on waste issues head-on is a great relationship builder in communities around the world. Recycling means cleaner environments, increased job opportunities and fewer landfills. Recycling FTW!
Available from Black Dog Publishing. Click here!