When we speak of recycling, we need to speak of how much is actually done.
The United States, as a nation, lost about $800 million two years ago. We actually, as a whole, only recycle about 30 percent of the roughly 79 percent of materials we can reuse and recycle. If you take aluminum cans, the most recycled can, at 50 percent, it’s reused in most cans you’ll be holding this weekend — at a staggering 73 percent recycled aluminum. When we reuse our old cans and recycle them, you can make a new can with 90 percent less energy, and it makes 90 percent less emissions.
How cool is that?
Imagine, when you go to drop off your garbage at the town’s recycling center, we have some big containers we are throwing everything into. On the light side, there is 20 cubic yards of material in each container — they look much closer to 40, in my humble opinion. Why aren’t we positioning ourselves to take each can to a deposit site for 5 cents a can? Sounds far-fetched? Why? Hear me out. If we had a town employee, or, better yet, some high school volunteers, any volunteers, any concerned citizen, any environmentalists still here?
Seize the day, get PPE — we need to start to make a slight profit for each other. Why you ask? Glad you asked. We can put this money toward helping some of most needed programs. Couldn’t we take whatever this profit is to help our food pantry? Run some more programs? Have some more community-building events? Help anyone in need? Create a new stream of revenue that isn’t being taxed on us? Find helpful things that we aren’t being taxed for. That we are using our resources to help each other, help our environment, help our community. Take advantage of what we have to work with. Make it work for everyone. One can is 5 cents, 20 is $1; each roll-off just became endless possibilities. Remember to take a look next time, the sun shining off that can just might be the light of a new beginning.
Walles, Aman, Karpinski: “We are the Community.”
Mr. Karpinski is a candidate for East Hampton Town Board — Ed.
One fine body…