4 Reasons Los Angeles Residents Don’t Recycle Enough

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At first glance, recycling looks like it’s gaining momentum in Los Angeles. Solid wastes are collected by LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN) from hundreds of thousands of homes. What’s more, out of the ten biggest cities in the US, the city has the highest recycling rate at a little over 75%.

Despite this impressive level of organization, many people in Los Angeles aren’t totally sold on recycling. Here are four lame excuses why recycling isn’t closer to 100%.

Excuse #1: “It’s Unnecessary”

Many people think recycling means sacrificing their lifestyle, buying lower quality goods for more money. They argue that recycling materials aren’t as good as other consumer materials. In truth, these are just wild, unsubstantiated claims.

Let’s take bamboo. This biodegradable plant has been around for thousands of years and is found all over the world. It makes excellent paper. In fact, a bamboo paper towel is softer and more sanitary than a regular paper one. Plus, it can be used multiple times and when you are done with one you can compost it yourself or add it to the organic refuse bin.

Excuse #2: “It’s Hard to Know Where to Begin”

Most people don’t know where to start when it comes to recycling. However, it’s easy to learn simple rules like rinsing your recyclable cans and bottles before you put them in the recycling bin to keep rodents and insects out.

Recycling is time-consuming and can be tough for people with busy schedules. However, there are lots of ways to recycle more waste. 

Here are five tips to do your part to save the city, as well as the planet:

  1. You can recycle more things. With the rise in technology, there are now machines able to recycle everything from paper to glass.
  2. You can sort trash before the weekly pickup date. If you don’t sort trash, then you could end up not putting eco-friendly materials in your recycling bin.
  3. You can use reusable bags when you go grocery shopping. They help the environment and save money. They are also convenient when you go shopping and you can use them to carry everything while reducing the need for plastic bags.
  4. You can bring your own containers when you order takeout. There’s no need to ever use Styrofoam or plastic at a restaurant again when you bring your own container. This not only helps the environment but also cuts down on waste.
  5. You can donate. Consider donating your used electronics, exercise equipment, or clothes to a local nonprofit. You can even get a tax deduction!

Excuse #3: “It’s Not Cool”

This attitude of indifference may be changing. Los Angeles now has a four-bin collection system that cuts down on excuses not to recycle. Blue bins are for recyclables, green bins are for tree trimmings, black bins are for residual waste, and brown bins are for manure. The city’s comprehensive recycling program has been implemented in 750,000 households, with 530,000 single-family homes and 220,000 multi-family buildings recycling.

Excuse #4: “There aren’t enough places to recycle these days”

Many Californians believe that the number of places you can recycle has been declining over the years. However, this widely held belief is not completely accurate. Los Angeles is on track to have a record-breaking year for recycling; UCLA Engineering Extension’s Municipal Solid Waste Management Program reports Los Angeles recycles 76.4%. The Department of Conservation says there are more than 2400 recycling facilities in California. Also, more than 16 million Californians recycle curbside.

Many Ways to Recycle in LA

Recycling has become a major concern for people around the world because of more obvious environmental calamities. If you’re an LA resident or business, there are a lot of ways to recycle more effectively. If everyone were to follow your example and recycle, it would significantly reduce the amount of trash that ends up in landfills and it would lower greenhouse gas emissions.