I recently traveled to Ireland, and besides the absolute beauty of the country, I also noticed that recycling and efficiency was a priority in their country. My mind quickly began to compare how wasteful the United States is compared to other countries. According to a report I read, the US makes up 4% of the world population, but produces over 12% of global waste. The US also only recycles 35% of its waste compared to Germany that is the most efficient country, recycling 68% of its waste (Smith, 2019).
In Ireland, grocery and convenience stores do not automatically put your items in a bag. If you want a bag, you have to bring one or pay for one. The entire week we were there, not once did I get a Styrofoam cup or even see plastic ware. If I got a to-go container, it was made of cardboard or a paper-like product that was 100% recyclable. Everywhere we went, there were recycling containers. I am usually not one to notice things like this, but it was hard not to notice the differences.
Unfortunately, there are not many recycling options in our area. If you live in Tyler, there is a curbside pickup for Tyler residents. If you live outside of the Tyler city limits, there is a free drop-off location in Downtown Tyler.
Downtown Recycling Center
Opened Weekdays, 7:15 AM to 5:30 PM
Saturday, 8 AM to 2 PM
414 N. Bois D. Arc
The Downtown Recycling Center accepts many of the items that would end up in our landfill.
The center accepts:
- Plastic bottles (milk jugs, laundry bottles, pill bottles, and soda bottles) (#1 and #2 plastics only)
- Aluminum cans
- Motor oil
- Ink cartridges
- Industrial batteries
- Electronics like Cell phones, TVs, curling iron, toasters, etc.
- Furniture, Fridges, and Freon (with a fee)
Drop off is simple. You pull up, park, and unload your recyclables. You do have to sort your items in their respectable bins so presorting helps.
A few other ways to help the environment that takes little effort:
- Use reusable water bottles
- Be conscious of how you use water and electricity
- Reduce the amount of paper you use
- Use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags from the store
Smith, Niall. (2019, July 2). US Tops List Of Countries Fuelling The Mounting Waste Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.maplecroft.com/insights/analysis/us-tops-list-of-countries-fuelling-the-mounting-waste-crisis/.