To recycle or not to recycle that is an important question that we all need to ask
ourselves. As the population continues to grow and the earth gets more and more
crowded with people and their waste it becomes a major issue of whether there will be
enough space on the planet earth for future generations and their waste (trash) too. When
first beginning to collect trash and and counting the trash my attitude was – what
influence could my family make? But as I began to research Recycling Essay and how some
wastes pollute the environment my attitude took a change. The attitude turned more
toward concern than what or how much my waste contributed to the big picture.
Below is a chart reflecting the amount of trash that was counted and weighted
during a four-week period beginning the week of Monday, April 24, 2000 and ending on
These weights were rounded up to the nearest pound.
WeekAluminumOther MetalsGlassPlasticsNewspaperWhite PaperOther PaperFood Prducts and Lftovrs
The Orrs household consists of my wife and three children, ages 9, 5 and 2 (3
boys and 2 girls). During the first week of my collection the oldest child was visiting her
grandparents, which I thought would have made a difference in the amount of trash that
the Orrs would accumulate. There was a major surprise to the household of how much
food waste accumulated over a week, and how the numbers of plastic and glass were
almost equivalent. The food waste can probably be attributed to the fact that Mrs. Orr still
cooks for five people and the children never really eat all their food. When raising three
children you get into a pattern and it has been hard for my wife to change that pattern as
far as the amount of food that is bought and the amount of food she cooks at any one
The newspaper was not a great surprise because each week the household receives
the same number of papers, the O’Fallon journal daily, the Sunday Post Dispatch, two
journals and some weeks the papers varied in size. Depending on the media. The large
amount of other paper came as a major shock, This consisted of some color paper and
disposable diapers that the youngest child uses. A lot of this was various bits of junk
mail that is received weekly that was not be counted as white paper or in the newspaper
Paper napkins and towels also added to the grand total, as well. There was a lot
of white paper that was collected, but this was during the time when the computer was
being used a lot due to the youngest daughter and her book report and most of the mail
The first week I weighed two pounds of plastic. This pound consisted of two
Pepsi bottles and water bottles.
After the first couple of days, it became more aware of
how much water that was being used and the solution to this was reusing the same
bottles instead of throwing the empty ones out, which also saved money.
The researching period of recycling and learning what all the waste is doing to the our
Planet, was when the biggest concerns became aware of the amount of other trash that
was counted. Because this is the type of trash that cannot be recycled easily.
The disposable diapers and the sanitary products are a major concern because this type of
waste goes directly into a landfill. When further research on the disposable diapers, it
was surprising to find that the disposal of the diapers is not causing the controversy, that
it did several years ago. “According to one study it was found that disposable diapers
cause more trash but cloth diapers use more energy…” (Samuelson 143 – 144).
This would mean that no matter what you use that you are still causing some
damage to the environment in one way or another (The Orr family goes throught about
four diapers a day). You could apply this same thought for the sanitary products that they
would be just as hazardous to the dumpsites as the disposable diaper would be. “Even
though today there are many things in a landfill that are more .