Recycling and Landfill: What Do Things Really Cost?
Turns out, Annie Leonard isn't the only one wondering what happens to our stuff once we throw it out. In her post, Car Seat Recycling and Depot Tour, Suzanne, over at Mommy Footprint, has a question or two about the lifespan of our beloved things, what can be recycled and the non-recyclable. While bringing along her son to a tour of the local recycling plant, she asks the big question: "What do things really cost?":
"Your answer might be different than mine, but I interpret it to mean that the little things we as consumers purchase – things that we don’t need to survive (clothing, shelter, food, education) that we can afford in the moment because they seem affordable and give us temporary/instant gratification. These items have a higher cost than we think. An example is the plastic toy that costs $2 and seems like a really inexpensive purchase, but what happens when you try to get rid of that toy in 5 years? It can’t be recycled and will hang around in the dump and outlive your children..is the true cost of that toy still $2? No it’s not.
After touring my local recycling plant outside Denver, I was actually encouraged by the great care employees made to recycle as much material as possible. Even better, seeing the waste v. non-waste ratio in action stuck with me on every purchase since. Consider asking your local recycling plant and/or landfill about tours, it's a worthwhile time investment in 'stuff' awareness.
Read Car Seat Recycling and Depot Tour over at Mommy Footprint.