Recycle and keep the area greener

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2015

While there weren’t any celebrations that we heard of locally for Sunday’s America Recycles Day, Oxford is a pretty progressive place for recycling. There are plenty of residents who understand the value of keeping the Earth green and plenty of residents who take it a step further and pick up trash on the roadways where people have failed to not only see the value in recycling, but also weren’t quite raised right and dumped trash out of their cars. 

Lafayette County has some beautiful rolling hills and scenic backroads, and a quiet peaceful drive through the countryside can be ruined quickly by the sight of trash haphazardly strewn about. Whether it was something that flew out of the back end of a pickup truck unintentionally or was a beer can thrown out of a car while drinking and driving, trash is out there.

According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the average U.S. resident  generates 4.4 pounds of trash and recyclables each day. Over the course of a year, that total becomes 250 million tons of trash.  If trash is not disposed of correctly, it easily becomes litter that mars the natural beauty and health of our environment.

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More than 51 billion pieces of litter land on U.S. roadways each year, according to Keep America Beautiful. Cleaning it up costs $11.5 million a year in America. 

That litter costs MDOT roughly $3 million every year, and Mississippi litter rates are nearly 30 percent higher than averages throughout the rest of the country.

This is a major reason why recycling should be encouraged and everyone should do whatever he or she can to be mindful of the environment. Workplaces should offer recycling bins for employees to put their plastic bottles or that tin can from soup they brought for lunch. People, while stopping at a gas station on the way home, can wait an extra five minutes until they are near a recycling bin at the house to throw out their Coke bottle instead of dumping it in the trash at the gas station.

Once that is mastered, keep in mind things we usually throw away can be recycled. Like the bag your bread comes in or other plastic containers. Teach children now to look at every single package in the home before throwing it away and see if it has a number. Any amount of recycling makes the world a better place.