Americans aren’t particularly good at recycling. We have no federal policy related to it and plastics manufacturers, for instance, fight the process in Congress where the effort really needs to begin. ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ was a mantra from back in the 1970’s which is still applicable today. And as our guest reminds us if you reduce and reuse, in the first place, there can be less emphasis on the whole complicated process of recycling. So much contaminated recycled material from the United States was going to China, until a few years ago, that they stopped buying our smashed glass, cans and containers. Jennie Romer, author of ‘Can In Recycle This?’ walks us through the economics of recycling trying to help us understand how municipalities that used to sell the recycled material for a profit now must pay to have it taken away and she walks us through what happens to a bin of recyclables after it leaves our home. We discuss single stream vs. dual stream recycling, plastic bag bans and legislation involving single-use plastic. We don’t leave the discussion without asking whether pizza boxes are recyclable. Stay tuned for the answer to that $64,000 question.
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