The Broken System of South Jordan Recycling

A small pile of cans in a recyclable bin.

A small pile of cans in a recyclable bin.

Mandy Jenkins, Editor in Chief

In South Jordan, a lot of new restrictions has limited our recycling. It has gotten to the point where I barely know what I can and can’t recycle. The restrictions are too strict. When people are recycling, they are trying to help the earth.

Some of the many new restrictions include PVC pipe, styrofoam, and aluminium foil.  We can’t recycle plastic bottles unless they have a neck. We can’t recycle green waste. You have some glass to get rid of, well don’t try to. Aren’t these things great things to recycle? Can we not find ways to reuse these so the plastic bags stay out of the landfill and away from the wind’s grasp? 

Although the restrictions are too strict, there are reasons for them. One of those restrictions is sometimes there isn’t enough of a market for manufacturers to pay to recycle them. One way to help this problem to go away is to buy more recycled things. The more we buy, the more demand will rise and make certain things able to be recycled again. 

Another reason for these restrictions coming around is that we have a 25% chance of our recyclables not being recycled. If certain things, like the green waste, get into the recycling it can contaminate the whole load gathered that day. This is why we should have separate bins for each thing to avoid contamination.

This just shows that there are things we can do so we don’t have such strict restrictions on our recycling. We have a recycling bin for a reason. The landfill is getting more and more stuff sent to it because people can’t get rid of the garbage any other way. 

These restrictions are making it so it is harder to recycle. No one likes to keep doing something when it keeps getting more difficult. This makes it easier to just stop recycling. Lifting some of the restrictions would help keep people recycling and help the environment. These restrictions don’t seem to be helping any effort people are making when they recycle. 

We have talked about recycling in South Jordan, Utah, but there are so many places that have different recycling programs. In Scotland, they allow many things to be recycled. They allow batteries, food waste, plastic, and many other things. 

In Germany, they have come up with two very big ways to help the citizens have an easier time recycling. The first thing they did was start the Green Dot project. This is a project where manufacturers have to pay for packaging. The more packaging, the higher the fee. They can only sell their products once they have the green dot of approval. The next thing Germany has done is to come up with sectioned recycling. They have different bins with different sections for each recyclable. This way the risk of contamination goes way down. They also made all their bins available on street corners.

Here in South Jordan, our recycling system has become too strict. There are things we can do to improve it and we will.