I am sure by now you have heard of the clichÈs about recycling — it’s good for the environment, it helps create a sustainable future, and so on.Ever wonder if those statements are true? Is it worth the hassle to recycle? Yes and Yes.
Recycling does have a number of important benefits, both locally and globally.Really, recycling isn’t even that much of a hassle when you consider the benefits. Actually, recycling is one of the easiest ways you can protect the environment and prevent unnecessary waste and pollution.
There are many good reasons to recycle. It reduces waste and pollution.Americans produce hundreds of millions of tons of waste every year.The beverage industry has stated that it takes much more energy to create a new aluminum can than it does to make a recycled one.Recycling promotes efficiency since some types of metals, like steel and aluminum, can be recycled multiple times. Therefore, recycling also creates jobs.Statistics state that the recycling process creates more jobs for Americans than the waste management process.
Over the last three years, I’ve held a number of very successful recycling eventsinmy district, which have taken a total of more than 95,000 pounds of old electronics, televisions, clothing, bedding, paper, carpet and other recyclable items out of the waste stream. All who have participated in these efforts — the most recent was in April — are to be congratulated forgetting involvedto help protect our environment. I believe it’s good to both clean out your house and know that you’re disposing of unwanted “stuff” in an environmentally responsible manner.
In this year’s state budget, the New York Environmental Protection Fund will escape cuts and is funded at $134 million to provide resources for environmental projects throughout New York. In the 2013 legislative session, I plan to introduce a bill to amend the environmental conservation law, to establish a carpet stewardship program that addresses both the curbside bans on disposal of commercial carpeting from big businesses and provides an alternative forcarpet manufacturers, retailers, installers and consumers to discarding such materials in municipal landfills. Our current state population is 19.5 million. The Carpet and Rug Institute says each person disposes of 17 pounds of carpet annually in the United States. That translates to 165,575 tons disposed by New Yorkers, at a disposal cost of just under $11.6 million annually,not including theadded costs of pickup, processing and transportation. Our landfills get clogged up because these materials do not break down for many generations. A Long Island carpet recycling vendor who works at my events says they make many useful products from the waste, while they prevent greenhouse gases and create green jobs. He wants to extend the same service he offers his commercial clients to residential carpeting installers by showing them the value in a sustainable form of disposal that is also less expensive overall.
As a timely reminder and on a related note, I will be holding, along with my co-sponsor Assemblyman Mike Miller, my 7th Community Recycling Day on Sunday, Sept. 30, from 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. at the Forest Park Seuffert Bandshell parking loton Forest Park Drive in Woodhaven, one block west of Woodhaven Boulevard. This rain or shine event is free, and our constituents will be able to conveniently and safely dispose of electronics, residential carpeting and foam padding (no area rugs), paper (via shredder), clothing, household goods and eyeglasses. For more information about this 7th Recycling Day, or if you have questions about any other free community event I sponsor each year, please call Pete DeLucia in my Howard Beach office at (718) 738-1111.
I hope to see you soon in Forest Park. Come — go green with us!
Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. is New York State Senator for the 15th District in southern and southwestern Queens.