April 2013 Publisher's Letter
Every problem contains within itself the seeds of its own solution.As Natural Awakenings publishers, we receive so much great information that we just don’t have room to print it all. The good news is that you can still read about it on our new content-rich website, where we now share more of the cutting-edge information that we receive each month and news about local happenings. Just visit naAtlanta.com to read more.
~ Stanley Arnold
For instance, did you know that to boost recycling participation, Mexico created an innovative recycling program at local farm markets that pays recyclers with vouchers to purchase fresh produce from farmers at the same market? And did you know that Sweden is buying trash from neighboring countries because their recycling program is so successful that 96 percent of theirs is either recycled or reused, so they don’t have enough garbage left over to burn in their heat and electricity-producing incinerators?
While Georgia is no recycling slouch, there is always room for improvement and innovation. Manufacturers in our state are the second highest users of recycled product in the nation. That’s good, because without their demand for raw recycled materials, there is really no recycled program. Georgia currently has an aggressive public recycling program, and still, we’re throwing away a lot of stuff that could be recycled. One estimate valued it at $300 million in raw recycled materials. That’s a lot of value being thrown away and buried in the landfills.
As a result, businesses are eying those trash dumps like mines. And they are. Companies would use recycled plastics if they could be reclaimed like metals or glass. Progress is being made; MBA Polymers just opened their fourth plant that not only recycles plastic bottles, but durable goods like computers and printers. Their plastic pellets are good enough to replace virgin pellets; that’s an amazing breakthrough. Check out Mike Biddle’s Ted talk at Ted.com/talks/mike_biddle.html or visit mbapolymers.com.
There is still a long way to go before we have Star Trek replicators that recycle and reuse everything right in our own starship, or before we reach Sweden’s level of recycling achievement. We’re looking forward to keeping you up to date on the progress. If there’s anything you think we should know and share with Atlanta about recycling and other green living programs, leave us your ideas and comments online at naAtlanta.com.
Thanks for reading.