There are many good reasons to reduce, reuse and recycle. Everything we use has to come from somewhere and must go somewhere once we’re finished with it. The environmental cost of an item isn’t just a reflection of what’s needed to make it. It also reflects the energy used in the item’s production and the impact it will have when we use it and throw it away. When we don’t recycle; energy and resources are wasted whenever an item goes to landfill; Raw materials are a limited resource – we might not always be able to replace what we throw away; more landfill means more pollution. So the City of Newark, department of Neighborhood services wants the citizens of Newark to know the proper ways to recycle. The first summit had a series of workshops;
Workshop 1:Solving Problems through Collaboration and partnerships. This session explored the intricacies of building a relationship with businesses, colleges and universities to partner with the City of Newark to recycle and how business recycling can stir up urban growth.
Workshop 2:Community Engagement. Highlighted strategies for community and public engagement as a methodology for ensuring the success of recycling programs and project. The workshop also focus on the various types of multi-family and residential recycling project needed to improved the city’s waste management needs. New Community Corporation (NCC) manages nearly 2,000 units of housing as well as other community facilities that are home to some 4,000 people. Recycling large real estate businesses can result in large savings in landfill cost.
Workshop 3:Newark Recycles, The speakers discussed ways residents, business owners and agencies m,ay collaborate with the goal of moving Newark forward as a champion in recycling.
Workshop 4: Sustainability into Schools, The speakers discussed how schools can be leading incubators in recycling, and the children act as ambassadors in sharing the importance of recycling to the neighbors and families.
The purpose of the summit was to make sure community practitioners were on the same page with respect to recycling infrastructure. Interesting takeaway, recycling and what can be recycling can be different by city, state, and national. To my surprise there is no federal or state standard guideline. This was result of “Home Rule” being built into the legislature, resulting in different recycling capacity throughout the state. For example NYC has a 12 stage sorting of material many they sort more finely, while Newark sort is 4 stage sorting. The everyday plastic bags are problematic for recycling machines, the bags melt and film accumulating on the machining reducing its effectiveness. RESIDENTIAL: All homes, condominiums, townhouses, apartments, trailer parks, etc., including certain housing types considered institutional (i.e. senior citizen homes) are to recycle the following materials. There are no de minimum standards based upon amount or weight: Newspapers Mixed paper (i.e. junk mail, office paper, all marketable grades) Old corrugated containers Glass food and beverage containers Aluminum beverage containers Leaves Used motor oil White goods Lead acid batteries (vehicle batteries) Plastics (#1 and #2) Steel/Tin Containers Ferrous Scrap Surprising we were told with in doubt, place plastic in regular garbage and it would go to the incinerator at Covanta Energy, and produce electricity, along with air born pollutants.
The event concluded with awards for the recycling poster contest. The winners were, first place, Ashley Garcia (shown above), Art High School, second place Aubry Brown, New Horizon Community Charter School, and third prize going to Deanna Brown, also from, New Horizon Community Charter School.
Last award went to the faith base organization recycling winner, was New Psalmist Worship Center in the southward of Newark.
WHY SHOULD I REDUCE, REUSE, OR RECYCLE? RECYCLING FACTS Americans represent only five percent of the world’s population, but generate 30 percent of the world’s garbage. Recycling one ton of old paper saves 17 trees; 2 barrels of oil (enough to run an average car for 1,260 miles); 4,100 kilowatts of energy (enough power for the average home for 6 months); 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space; 7,000 gallons of water and 60 pounds of air pollution. Every day, U.S. paper makers recycle enough paper to fill a train of boxcars 15 miles long. If we recycled all of the newspapers printed in the U.S. on a typical Sunday, we would save about 550,000 trees. Recycling the steel from six cars can provide enough steel framing for a 2000 square foot building. The energy saved each year by steel recycling is equal to the electrical power used by 18 million homes each year The steel industry recycles almost 19 billion steel cans into new products each year – about 600 cans recycled every second. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to power a television for three hours. Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every 3 months. Aluminum cans produced in the United States can contain at least 50 percent recycled content. Recycling one glass bottle saves enough electricity to light a 60-watt bulb for four hours. If not recycled, one quart of used motor oil could pollute 250,000 gallons of drinking water. Half of all polyester carpet made in the United States is made from recycled plastic (PT). Energy saved from recycling helps the environment by reducing energy-related air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.