Integrating recycling into K-12 educational system has become a goal for many educators. Usually it is integrated into science or social studies classrooms. This is due to its inclusion in the national education standards for both of these subject areas. Common areas that recycling is integrated into the curriculum include areas such as the study of natural resources, general environmental units, soil units, water units, community units, economic units, and geography units. Although interest is growing, major textbook publishers do not always include recycling in a textbook so teachers are left to supplement the textbooks with outside curriculum to meet the national standards. For example, in a unit about trees or natural resources teachers could include supplemental curriculum about recycling because in the textbook it is never explicitly covered. Non-profit organizations as well as governmental organizations have created supplemental curriculum for teachers to fill this void.
Recycling involves processing used materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from land filling) by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production. Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" waste hierarchy. Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles, and electronics. Although similar in effect, the composting or other reuse of biodegradable waste - such as food or garden waste - is not typically considered recycling. Materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection center or picked up from the curbside, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials bound for manufacturing.
Most people don't think twice about what they put in the garbage. The average American produces from 3-5 pounds of trash per day, which adds up to 50 tons per year. That means over 200 million tons of trash are produced by everyone in the U.S. every year! Up to 70% of this trash is buried in landfills.
The scary thing about this is that even though landfills are getting tons of new trash every day, more and more are closing down because they are too expensive to maintain. This is becoming a widespread problem across the U.S. as states struggle to find alternative ways to reduce the amount of trash accumulation.
Only about one-tenth of U.S. garbage actually gets recycled every year, when in reality over half of it can be recycled into new products. Recycling is one of the most important acts to follow in our daily lives because it can reduce the amount of waste in our landfills, sustain our natural resources and provide better air and water quality.
On average, each person throws away eight dry-cell batteries each year. A dry cell battery is the type of batter used to power small household items like clocks and radios. Double and triple A batteries, C, D, and 9-vot batteries are all dry-cell batteries. Batteries are powered by heavy metals that interact with chemicals, so simply discarding batteries can cause a horrible impact on the environment, especially when old batteries leak and mixed with rain water pollute the soil and into