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As you know, Lansdowne is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint dramatically over the next decades. Waste management needs to be part of that clean energy transition plan. We in the EAC are looking for answers regarding our recycling program-how much of what we put out to be recycled is actually being recycled? How can we encourage residents to reduce the amount of “stuff” that they buy and when thrown away costs the borough money to dump into a landfill? We are looking for answers as to how much taxpayer money is actually being spent on waste management. How can we keep Darby Creek and other natural resources in our town, free of plastic and other refuse?
The Environment America Research and Policy Center released an article called Break the Waste Cycle in October of 2020. Some of their information included the following. The U.S. throws out enough plastic every 16 hours to fill a football stadium, and that amount is increasing. Most discarded materials are then landfilled or incinerated, creating pollution and requiring producing companies to extract more natural resources to make new materials. Containers and packaging account for roughly 30% of municipal solid waste. What about holding the producing companies responsible for collecting or recycling all this waste? What about incentive programs for returning bottles? These are some of many ideas put forth by the Zero Waste movement.
Let’s think about what we can do in Lansdowne to reduce our carbon
footprint. Toxic chemicals from burning plastic getting into our air, soil, water and our
bodies, can be a thing of the past. Towns paying a high percentage of their budgets just
to carry away waste, can be a thing of the past. Streets and streams littered with refuse
and debris can be a thing of the past. Let’s figure this out.