Where does your recycling go... really??
A recent spate of stories about how lots of supposedly recycled stuff actually ends up in the trash (NPR story; NERC story; Wired story) made me start wondering about where my trash and recycling really REALLY goes.
In my city (Palo Alto, CA), all of my neighbors and I religiously separate our compost from our recyclables and trash. On Thursday morning, we set out the big plastic containers for the trucks to come by...
.... and pick up the contents--green is compost, black is trash, blue is recycling (single-stream) ....
.... and.... then... what happens?
Our SearchResearch Challenge for this week is simple, but possibly tricky:
Where does YOUR recycling go? How much of the stuff you carefully put into the recycling bins actually makes it into a recycled product vs. into a landfill?
From an SRS point of view, the question is how can you find out?? It's very possible that the trash/recycling organization has a page about what their practices are, but how do you fact-check what they say? How do you really know??
I'm curious about what happens where you live. How much of our "recycling" actually ends up being recycled (as opposed to being put into a landfill or being burned)?
Can you do the research for your town / city / village and let us know? (And, as always, be sure to tell us HOW to figured this out! Where you able to do it all via online research methods??)