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Plastic containers crowd landfills

As the nine billion-dollar bottled water industry continues to expand, so do the nation?s landfills.

According to Judy Stark?s Sept. 23 Fresno Bee article, Water blues, Americans dispose of an estimated 38 billion water bottles each year.

Instead of recycling the plastic into substances such as polyester fiber for carpet flooring, the bottles crowd landfills, increase pollution and demolish the ozone layer.

Two out of the 10 plastic water bottles purchased in the United States enter a recycling plant, according to the Container Recycling Institute (CRI). The remaining containers create 2 million tons of waste because the majority of the nation refuses to recycle.

Some students attempt to help solve the problem and ensure a healthy living environment by utilizing recycle containers.

?I started recycling because of my mom,? Lindsey Whipple, ?08, said. ?I?ve grown up doing it and I think it?s important. If everyone recycled we would have a cleaner and safer place to live.?

While these facts may alarm some, others seem unaffected by the environmental issue.

?It doesn?t really bother me,? Josh Palmer, ?08, said. ?If I see a recycling bin I?ll throw my bottle in there, but I won?t go out of my way to do so. It?s just not a priority for me.?

In order to downsize the nation?s landfills, conservationists encourage Americans to use a refillable bottle rather than a disposable one. Varsity volleyball player, Quinn Livingston, ’10, adheres to this approach.

?I carry a non-disposable bottle,? Livingston said. ?I get more water than the standard bottle size and I?m helping the environment. It only takes a minute to fill and it doesn?t cost me anything.?

Some students choose expendable bottles because of the convenience.

?I just have to grab it out of the fridge,? Vincent Cabias, ’09, said. ?I don?t like to have to wait to fill up a bottle. It just takes too much time for me.?

Although the allegation is debatable, certain groups believe some plastics exert chemicals supporting the usage of filtered water.

For those who continue to buy bottled water, recycling containers are obtainable from local plants and found on websites such as bottlesandcans.com.

In order to encourage recycling among families, the annual Earth Day celebration is held each Spring. The day aims to promote conservation and recycling.

This campus initiated the ?think blue? campaign in an effort to promote recycling on Oct. 1, 2005. Since then, approximately 30% of the trash produced has been recycled, saving the school a projected $7000, according to Julianne Erkenbrecher?s Nov. 10, 2005, article, Save it for recycling.

“It’s not just for us, but for everyone,” Gary Schultz, principal, said. “If we have any concern for our country, we will recycle. An overwhelming amount of trash exists. It’s the responsibility of citizens to care for our school, community, and country. If we don’t we’ll use up our resources and pollute our environment.”

There will be a waste drop-off event at three sites in Fresno/Clovis, Kerman and Parlier. Small businesses must attend the Fresno/Clovis site only and pay a required fee, on Nov. 9. For housholds, no fee is required, however, Fresno County Residents need to drop-off household hazardous waste on Nov. 10.

Medical waste, radioactive materials, explosives, gun powder, propane tanks, reactives, ammunition, abestos, tires, large appliances and non hazardous waste will not be accepted. Call Fresno County, at (559)262-4259, for disposal options for items not accepted.

Reservations are required to minimize waiting time, call 1-800-714-1195, Mon.-Fri. 8 A.M.-5 P.M, until Nov. 8.

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