Reuse and Recycling
||Garbage & Recycling
Waste in Union City is divided into several categories:
- Compostables: yard waste, food scraps, food-soiled paper, and biodegradable products
- Recyclable materials: paper; plastics labeled for recycling; glass bottles; aluminum cans, foil; tin cans; scrap metals, chipboard, batteries, and used motor oil
- Hazardous waste: harmful chemicals that are unsafe for people and the environment when disposed of in a landfill. These wastes include medications, auto products, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, needles, cleaning products, and some garden products
What cannot be reused or recycled becomes garbage. Unfortunately, most of our garbage ends up in the ground or in the ocean. Recyclables, however, become the raw material for new products, and compostables can go back into the earth as natural plant fertilizer.
Recycling and composting salvage valuable raw materials from waste, lengthen the life of landfills, and reduce GHG emission associated with solid waste disposal in landfills. Since recycled materials can be re-used in new products, less new material needs to be harvested and used in the manufacturing process, which reduces GHG emissions and conserves resources for the future. For example, the thousands of paper products that are produced in the US could be made from post-consumer waste; instead many of these products are made from virgin materials which contribute to deforestation.
Compost is an inexpensive and eco-friendly alternative to chemical fertilizer. It’s safer to manufacture and better to use in gardens and landscaping. By diverting organic waste from landfills we can create value for our businesses (eliminating the need to buy fertilizers), keep our plants looking good, and bury less trash in the process. Less waste in landfills means fewer emissions – the anaerobic digestion that takes place in landfills when waste breaks down produces methane, a greenhouse gas over twenty times more potent than CO2.
Union City is dedicated to diverting 90% of the community’s waste through recycling, composting, and sustainable purchasing by 2020.