Recycling Is Everyone's Responsibility

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The earth's resources are diminishing as man's trash heaps send toxic scents into Payson's beautiful clean air. The question is: Are we going to let Payson's atmosphere be ruined by pollution and waste, or are we going to do something to protect our little town from being harmed by the rubbish and pollution of man's lackadaisical lifestyles?

Most people don't care about recycling because they don't believe that it makes a difference. But really it is everyone's responsibility to protect our environment and recycling is the greatest way to do that.

Recycling is using materials such as glass, cans, and plastic bags that otherwise would have been thrown away. Benefits of recycling include: the reduction of air and water pollution and the protection of natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals.

One way to reuse a product is to donate old clothes and miscellaneous items to a shelter or charity instead of throwing them away. There are drop off points at both Wal-mart and Green Valley Park for newspapers. Also Wal-mart has pollution prevention tips that are available.

From 1960 to 1997, the total amount of garbage in the U.S. increased 146.5 percent. That figure alone proves that changes definitely need to be made concerning waste prevention.

In 1996, Californians prevented 70 million trees from being cut down through recycling. This is equal to one third of the forests destroyed in the Rodeo-Chediski Fire. This fact is something that goes to the heart of Paysonites who are surrounded by beautiful forests. When we recycle paper, we are doing our part in preserving the magnificent forests around us.

For information on how you can decrease waste, call Tammy Shreeve from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality at (602) 207-4171, or go to the web site: www.epawastewiseprogram.org

It is every American's responsibility to take care of our environment. Not just for our well being, but also for the well being of our future generations.

You are never too young or old to stand up and make a difference in this world. And recycling is a little step that makes a big difference.

Nicole Ayala is a junior at the Payson Center for Success. She works on the center's newsletter. She wrote this Guest Commentary as part of her Job Shadowing assignment with the Roundup.

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