Trash Talking in College Station


I’m often asked, “Why should I recycle?  What difference does it make?” Aside from the run-of-the-mill answers about preserving natural resources and saving trees, I tend to respond, Why shouldn’t you recycle?”

College Station residents threw away 18,622.24 tons of garbage in 2009, and that only includes single-family homes, duplexes and some fourplexes.  That’s 167 lbs. per house per month!  Residents only recycled 1,032.61 tons in 2009 – 9 lbs. per house per month. That’s a pretty big difference, especially when you consider 60-80 percent of your garbage is recyclable.

Have you seen the movie Wall-E?  The Earth was so full of garbage, they had to abandon the planet!  The point may have been overstated, but the sense of what happens to unrecycled garbage rings true.  When your garbage isn’t recycled, where does it go?  It goes to the local landfill, where it takes up valuable space that will only have limited uses in the future.  The landfill is the end of story for the garbage and the land it uses.  So, why shouldn’t you put something back into the cycle?

With advancements in technology, this “garbage” is being turned into everyday items we use regularly.  Plastic bottles are being used in carpet manufacturing, and we can recycle aluminum cans over and over again to make an endless supply of cans.  Those are just two examples of materials that retain a significant amount of usefulness if they are recycled.

Throwing them away is just a waste.

Learn more about recycling opportunities in College Station by visiting

Heather L. Qualls
Heather L. Qualls
Recycling Coordinator | Public Works

One thought on “Trash Talking in College Station

  1. Recycling metals such as aluminum is great. It can be cost effective and save natural resources. That being said, most other recycled materials cannot produce the same benefits. Things like paper and plastics can be recycled but at a cost. The process of recycling items such as this cost money and energy. They actually use more energy and produce more waste products from the recycling process than from making the same things from raw materials. You may save a tree but you will cause more pollution during the process than from using raw materials, so there is a trade off. Also, without government subsidizing the process, recycling couldn’t happen with paper and plastics because it would cost more than the return. So recycling can sometimes lead to spending more money, more energy and more by products. Selective recycling and reusing materials is the best solution in my opinion.

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