Perhaps, like many people, you need to be more up-to-date on recycling efforts here in the U.S. At times, you might question whether your recycling choices are correct and if your contributions to the cause are enough to help the environment. So, to address some of your concerns and assist in recycling overall, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the 2021 National Recycling Strategy. What are the current goals of this program, and is there more to come?
The recycling system here in the U.S. is facing problems that include reduced markets for recycled materials and confusion about what should and should not be recycled. Through the National Recycling Strategy, the EPA has five main goals:
Improve markets for recycled materials
Increase the collection of such materials
Reduce contamination by educating the public about proper recycling
Improve programs that support recyclability
Increase data collection and standardize measurement
The EPA wants to reduce the impact of climate change on the production, use, and disposal of various materials.
Understanding a circular economy
A circular economy provides for the recapture of waste that can be made into new materials and products. It uses industrial processes and economic activities that are regenerative or restorative. The resources used should be able to maintain their value for as long as possible. Designers of materials, products, and systems should consider their eventual waste. The 2021 National Recycling Strategy embraces the circular economy concept. The strategy focuses on reducing the creation of waste at the community level through materials management that addresses environmental concerns.
Looking at the components
Currently, EPA focuses on Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) recycling with an eye on returning materials to the supply chain. But we are told that other materials will likely be spotlighted in future planning. These materials would include construction and demolition waste in addition to food waste and the recycling of electronics.
Educating the public on electronic recycling
Responsible electronics recycling is essential for putting together and maintaining a circular economy. Companies must be incredibly diligent in following proper recycling practices, just as individuals must not recycle electronic devices by putting them out at the curb for weekly pickup. To that end, we at Urban E Recycling appreciate the time our customers take to understand how to recycle electronics such as computers, towers, radios, cell phones, x-boxes, and more. We work with individuals and various businesses, including medical offices and hospitals. We also work with the EPA to stay abreast of recycling goals like the 2021 National Recycling Strategy. We are proud to participate in the U.S. recycling system and will continue to do our part in contributing to a circular economy.