More recycling efforts needed in Omaha

Mackenzie Coughlin, Staff Writer

Being almost a third of the way through the year 2021, one would expect much more effort towards recycling and perfecting the way that we help the environment in one of the easiest ways we can. There are so many organizations that focus solely on recycling and how we can improve and contribute, yet so much reusable and damaging materials sit in landfills to rot for thousands of years.  

The idea of recycling is not new, as it has been encouraged in the U.S. for many years. However, in order to fully commit to the recycling lifestyle, it must be accessible to all people. This might seem like common sense, but in order for all recyclable materials to get out of landfills, everyone must be able to participate in the act of recycling. This is not the case across the country, even in the surrounding Omaha area 

As many know, the new trash collection system in Omaha offers Omaha residents two trash cans, one for trash and one for recycling. This is definitely a step in the right direction as it gives the opportunity for much more recycling to occur throughout the city. Even with this great change, some families are dealing with different situations.  

There are countless people who live just on the cusp of Omaha and do not qualify for the new trash cans at their homes. This means that they are charged ridiculous fees if they desire to have their recyclables collected by the city. It does not make sense to have people pay to recycle when there are so many options available for how to recycle effectively. One of the only ways that recycling will become most effective is if it is accessible to everyone.  

Another way that recycling efforts can be improved is to ease into banning certain products and materials. For example, eight states across the U.S. have already banned single-use plastic bags like the ones found in grocery stores. This has taken effect in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon, and Vermont. These states have flourished the same, if not more, without plastic bags since it creates so much less waste and forces people to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.  

Overall, contributing to recycling efforts and fighting for our environment should remain at the forefront. It is never any less important to take care of the planet we live on and disregard its condition due to convenience