By Briley Clark

Green Team Member

Every year, millions of people worldwide pledge to better themselves in the New Year. Whether it is to start exercising or learn a language, they promise to accomplish a personal goal. This year, make the commitment to help the environment in the easiest way possible – start recycling!

Did you know that about 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, but our recycling rate is only 28%?

Millions of tons of recyclable waste is sent to our already overfilled landfills, further polluting our environment. In addition to reducing the waste sent to landfills, simply placing your recycled materials in the recycling bin rather than the trash can reduce greenhouse gas, save energy, and help to conserve our valuable natural resources. Let’s give our landfills a rest, and recycle, to make sure our environment is at its best!

Why You Should Recycle and How You Can Recycle Correctly

Recycling can create such a big impact on our environment, whether it maintains a clean neighborhood or saves future generations from more pollution. You know the saying, ‘Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!’, but how often do you actually do this? Since it’s the beginning of 2022, why not start by helping out the environment and the community!

In Howard County, to recycle properly you should place recyclable paper, plastic, cans, glass and cardboard all together in a blue recycling bin or a plastic, see-through bag. You do not need to remove caps or labels on containers, but you should make sure to clean out everything. For example, rinse out a soda can before recycling it.

Things that are not recyclable include acrylic plastic, disposable plates/utensils, and Styrofoam. For more information on what you can/cannot recycle, reference the curbside guide on Howard County’s government website. Lastly, a fun little fact is that you can request a free recycling container if you do not already have one. Howard County provides one recycling bin per residence.

More ideas for resolutions from students & staff:

  • This year I will use reusable water bottles rather than plastic ones 
  • This year, I will use more reusable objects like bringing bags from home to the store instead of buying plastic.
  • I want to learn ways to use less plastic
  • I will pick up trash I see around my neighborhood 
  •  I will walk or ride my bike to the store instead of driving