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Since the inception of a widespread recycling program, there have been problems hindering the full potential of energy renewal and resource reconsumption. Recycling is the reuse of materials to help reduce the waste of natural resources. Recycling has many beneficial aspects associated with it; it helps save energy, natural resources, landfill space, and money, and it also helps create jobs ("Why Recycle"). Despite all of these positive attributes of recycling, the rates at which it is occurring is severely sub par. The major problem occurring with the entire issue is not that people choose to waste all renewable materials, but more in the respect that people aren't educated enough to know the benefits of recycling. There aren't enough programs in place urging people to recycle; no law enforcement agency is pushing towards improvements in recycling. To help improve conditions dealing with this issue, an increase in education and awareness on the severity of the problem must be addressed to the group being targeted. For this will help improve current conditions dealing with the issue. Commercial recycling is just one sector in which rates show much room for improvement.

The Problem

To solve the problem of public unawareness, our group set out to urge businesses to recycle. Going door-to-door, we spread the word of recycling by asking each storeowner certain questions inquiring their recycling habits. We then explained to them the benefits of recycling; how it promotes a positive image to the business, how it saves the establishment money, and how it can help reduce landfills. Providing the business with a flyer reminding them of the benefits of recycling we left the business, allowing them to reflect on what they had just learned and how they can help improve the current conditions seen today.

In examining the history of recycling in the City of Buffalo, it is necessary to understand the way recycling operates. As of December 2002, recycling has been privatized in Buffalo. The city calls for BFI Waste Management to utilize city trucks to pick up recyclables. Every citizen and business is provided with a blue recycling bin in which the can put out on the curbside for a weekly pickup by BFI. Within the last decade, the City of Buffalo has implemented a garbage user fee, which in part goes toward the recycling pick up. The city paid $1.6 billion for a five year pick-up contract with BFI. In the contract agreement, BFI kicks back $75,000 to the City of Buffalo for recycling education. Due to the current budget deficit Buffalo is unable to hire personnel to efficiently allocate these funds ( "Mayor Massiello Proposes Returning Vehicle Traffic To Main Street).

Currently, the recycling program in Buffalo has turned out an all time low in the percentage of waste that is recycled. In 1996-1997, the recycling rates in Buffalo neared 15 -20 % of total waste being recycled. When being compared to other cities of similar stature, Buffalo's recycling rates should reach near the 20% range of total waste ...
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