Recycling is the future. That is what everybody thinks and the most logical approached to our waste problem. Every way we go, all we hear is: go green, that’s environmental, paper here, bottles there… RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYCLE! Then what happened?
Do you know what happen to that plastic bottle you threw to the recycling bin? The last time yourfather went to change his oil car; do you know what happen to the used oil? Recycling is more than throwing that plastic bottle or used oil into the recycling bin.
One of every 4 plastic bottles we use end in the recycling bin. By recycling one bottle, it conserves energy to light 60w light bulb for up to 6 hours. It saves 100 to 1000 years in the landfill.
Motor oil comes from the samematerial as gasoline- crude oil. One quarter of used oil can contaminate up to 250,000 gallons of fresh water and burning 5 liters of used oil can contaminate the oxygen an adult breath for a period of 3 years. This may surprise you; 42 gallons of crude oil only makes ¼ of lubricant oil, but only takes 1 gallon of re-refine oil to make same ¼ of lubricant oil.
Switzerland recycles 89% of theirwaste, Europe and Austria 60%, United States 28%, and in Puerto Rico 10%. In Puerto Rico, we generate 4.9 lb of waste for each person, double than most Europe countries, and more than the United Sates, which is 4.3lb. We are an island of 100x35, we should be ashamed.
We are drowning in waste, and despite the education and the need to save the earth, we continued to live as there is no limit toour space and to our resources.
Recycling companies in Puerto Rico are in trouble and we need to help them. Some are leaving Puerto Rico to countries with better recycling laws and opportunities. Others are going broke and closing. Recycling process consists of 3 steps and these companies are having trouble with all of them.
The first step is the collecting recyclable materials. People don’trecycle enough and the waste we throw away is the raw material for these companies. In P.R, we have one of the 5 recycling plant of r used oil in the world, called Olein Recovery. They had been force to buy used oil from other countries, because almost all the collectable used oil is being taken to asphalt plants, like Better roads, to burn like fuel.
This is terrible for the environmentbecause used oil has more chemicals than fuel, but Better roads used them because this oil is cheaper than fuel, and for them this is more important that our health. Remember one important fact: Motor oil gets dirty but does not wear out. It can be used again, again, and again. This is a true recycle product. So, by burning used oil, we are ending its reusable life. Then, continued to buy foreignoil. This is a true recycle product.
The second step involves processing for manufacturing the recyclable materials. Manufactures products have to sort into groups, clean, sometime crush to make a new product. All this makes higher expenses for the company, in comparison to a non-recycle company.
The third step is purchasing recycle products. This closes the process. Not many people buyrecycle products. One example is the re-refined oil from Olein Recovery. Some establishments doesn’t want to buy re-refined oil, they think is not as good as the one taken from oil crude. They are misinformed, and mistaken. The American Petroleum Institute (API) certified that re-refined oil is just as good, if not better, that virgin oil.
Also, believed or not, almost none of the governmentagencies buy recycle products. The governor policy is in favor of recycling, but maybe his political policy should be; “do as I say, no as I do” The last administration was the same. Each agency does whatever they want, and they don’t care about the environment at all. For some this people, money is their motivation. People like this shouldn’t be leading government agencies.