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STANDARDS

CCSS: 4.MD.A.1, 4.MD.A.2

TEKS: 3.8B, 4.9B, 5.9C

What We Recycle

How to reduce waste and have a smooth recycling process

With overflowing blue bins outside many homes, it may seem like recycling is more popular than ever. In 2014, Americans recycled or composted 89 million tons of materials. That’s about one-third of the total trash produced.

This is great news for the environment. But the trend hasn’t been all positive for recycling companies. Changes in how we recycle have made the process more difficult and more expensive.

It may seem like recycling is more popular than ever. There are overflowing blue bins outside many homes. In 2014, Americans recycled or composted 89 million tons of materials. That’s about one-third of the total trash produced.

This is great news for the environment. But the trend hasn’t been all positive. At least not for recycling companies. Changes in how we recycle have made the process more difficult and more expensive.

To get more people to recycle, many U.S. cities made the process easier by allowing all recyclable items to go into one bin. In the past, people had to sort items based on what they’re made of (plastic, glass, paper, etc.).

No-sort recycling has made things easier for people in the community. But recycling plants now have the difficult task of sorting the items after they arrive.

Another challenge: Some people throw materials that can’t be recycled into their bins. It takes longer to sort recyclables from garbage.

Recycled plastic isn’t as valuable as it used to be. As a result of these factors, a significant number of recycling facilities have closed.

To adapt, recycling companies are upgrading their machines and processes. People can help too. Recycling experts
give this simple advice: Recycle all empty cans and bottles. And keep foods and liquids out of recycling bins.

Many U.S. cities have tried to get more people to recycle. They made the process easier. That began allowing all recyclable items to go into one bin. In the past, people had to sort items. They sorted based on what they’re made of (plastic, glass, paper, etc.).

No-sort recycling has made things easier for people in the community. But recycling plants now have a difficult task. They need to sort the items after they arrive.

They also have another challenge. Some people throw materials that can’t be recycled into their bins. It takes longer to sort recyclables from garbage.

Recycled plastic isn’t as valuable as it used to be. This means a significant number of recycling facilities have closed.

To adapt, recycling companies are upgrading their machines and processes. People can help too. Recycling experts give this simple advice: Recycle all empty cans and bottles. And keep foods and liquids out of recycling bins.

Which materials have recycling rates that are about one-third that of cardboard?

A. aluminum cans, plastics

B. glass containers, plastics

C. aluminum cans, glass containers

D. consumer electronics, glass containers

Which materials have recycling rates that are about one-third that of cardboard?

A. aluminum cans, plastics

B. glass containers, plastics

C. aluminum cans, glass containers

D. consumer electronics, glass containers

Which material shown has the lowest recycling rate? Based on what you read in the article, why do you think that might be? Use the text to support your answer.

Which material shown has the lowest recycling rate? Based on what you read in the article, why do you think that might be? Use the text to support your answer.

In which year did people produce the most pounds of garbage per person per day?

A. 1960

B. 1970

C. 1980

D. 1990

In which year did people produce the most pounds of garbage per person per day?

A. 1960

B. 1970

C. 1980

D. 1990

Which equation shows how many more pounds each person recycled in 2010 than in 1960?

A. 1.5 pounds + 0.2 pounds = 1.7 pounds

B. 1.5 pounds × 0.2 pounds = 0.3 pounds

C. 1.5 pounds ÷ 0.2 pounds = 7.5 pounds

D. 1.5 pounds – 0.2 pounds = 1.3 pounds

Which equation shows how many more pounds each person recycled in 2010 than in 1960?

A. 1.5 pounds + 0.2 pounds = 1.7 pounds

B. 1.5 pounds × 0.2 pounds = 0.3 pounds

C. 1.5 pounds ÷ 0.2 pounds = 7.5 pounds

D. 1.5 pounds – 0.2 pounds = 1.3 pounds

What do you notice about the data presented in the line graphs? Explain.

What do you notice about the data presented in the line graphs? Explain.

The combined amount of garbage and recycling produced in 2010 per person per day is about:

A. 2.9 pounds

B. 4.1 pounds

C. 4.4 pounds

D. 5.6 pounds

The combined amount of garbage and recycling produced in 2010 per person per day is about:

A. 2.9 pounds

B. 4.1 pounds

C. 4.4 pounds

D. 5.6 pounds

Which category of materials makes up half of all recycled or composted material?

Which category of materials makes up half of all recycled or composted material?

If you were to add the three smallest circle graph slices together, what would the combined percentage be? Solve with an equation. Which categories did you add?

If you were to add the three smallest circle graph slices together, what would the combined percentage be? Solve with an equation. Which categories did you add?

San Diego has a population of about 1,400,000 people. Kansas City has a population of about 480,000. Which city do you think recycles more materials and why?

San Diego has a population of about 1,400,000 people. Kansas City has a population of about 480,000. Which city do you think recycles more materials and why?

Imagine you were in charge of improving curbside recycling rates in your neighborhood. Which cities would you look to for advice? Explain, using the data in the graph.

Imagine you were in charge of improving curbside recycling rates in your neighborhood. Which cities would you look to for advice? Explain, using the data in the graph.

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