At Loraas, we specialize in waste and recycling. If it isn’t obvious by now, we love talking about your trash and diversion techniques. Together, we’ve had multiple discussions on the benefits of recycling and have illustrated the positive impacts citizens make by reducing their waste outputs; all while striving for sustainability of our natural resources. Recycling programs have been implemented in our communities for quite some time now and is a daily contribution everyone can make. But, what would happen if everyone in Saskatchewan stopped recycling, yet continued producing the same amount of waste? Let’s take a step back and look at the unsightly side of the spectrum and how this decision would affect our world in just one day.
When you wake up in the morning to the time you go to bed, the results would not be obvious to the average citizen. However, life at the landfill would become very hectic. Why? The average person in Saskatchewan generates 6.14lbs of waste per day; including household garbage, recycling, and organics while excluding commercial or industrial operations. Saskatchewan has a population of 1.2 million people. This would mean that in a single day of discarding all of the waste and removing recycling from our daily lives, our province would accumulate and discard 7.4 million pounds of waste! If we take a closer look at our waste bins, we will notice that not everything in those bins is “waste”. If we break down the contents of those household waste bins, we will notice they contain 40% recyclable material. Therefore, of the 7.4 million pounds we discarded in a single day we could have diverted 2.9 million pounds by simply recycling certain items.
Shocking, isn’t it? A single day without recycling doesn’t cause immediate concern for our province, however, compounded over a longer period of time these results would become disastrous to the environment. Why? Most of our recyclables are made from natural resources, such as cutting down trees to make our paper products or drilling for petroleum used to make plastics. Without recycling, the demand for virgin materials to make these products would be exponential. The rate at which we would have to cut down trees would outweigh the length of time it takes to plant new trees and wait for them grow to maturity. This means that if we stop recycling, our planet will deplete our natural resources in no time.
How can you help? Simple — continue to recycle. Loraas recommends building healthy recycling habits within your home. By having the proper bins in the right rooms of your home, you can increase proper recycling in your household all while decreasing items getting placed in the wrong bins. Always remember to reduce and reuse before you recycle. It all starts with using less.