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Paradigm shift - From the 1900’S, recycling advocates and...

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From the 1900’S, recycling advocates and reuse programs embrace the phrase “Waste as Wealth” to describe the revenue to be earned from sorting and reselling items found in household trash. In 1904, The first American aluminium can recycling plants open in Chicagoand Cleveland. Years later due to massive shortages of raw materials during World War I, the Federal government creates the Waste Reclamation Service with the motto “Don’t WasteWaste – Save It.” Later in World War II, Goods such as nylon, rubber and many metals are rationed and recycled to help support the war effort. In 1955, the August 1st issue of Life magazine offers a two-page article on “Throwaway Living.” Consumers are progressively sold on the idea that single-use items are a necessity of the modern lifestyle. Ease and convenience become the two most desirable qualities in product marketing, inevitably leading to parks, forests and highways becoming littered with garbage. In 1964 theall-aluminium can is introduced. Recognizing the value of used aluminium cans as a raw material for making new cans, the aluminium industry will soon begin creating a massive system for recycling and redeeming used beverage containers. Now, something we are very familiar with. In the late 1960s The Mobius Loop is introduced as the symbol for Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In the form of a Mobius strip, the symbol was designed by Gary Anderson after a Chicago-based recycled-container company sponsored an art contest to raise environmental awareness. Then in 1970, The first Earth Daybrings national attention to the problem of increasing waste and the importance of recycling. Earth Day was founded in the U.S by U.S Senator Gaylord Nelson and globally by entrepreneur John McConnell. Now, Earth Day is supported by over 192 countries on April 22nd. A year later, the first “Bottle Bill” is born: Oregon introduces a refundable deposit (a nickel) on beer and soda bottles as an incentive to recycle. An American milestone, the first recycling mill is built in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania in 1972. In 1987, a garbage-laden barge called The Mobro cruised up and down the East Coast of the U.S. looking for a place to unload. This sparked a public discussion about waste management and served as a catalyst for the country’s growing recycling movement. 1990 McDonald’s stops using Styrofoam containers. The 20th-anniversary theme for Earth Day is recycling. In 1992 the total number of curbside programs in the US grows to a total of 5,404, a growth of 4,354 programs in only 4 years! In 1995 Americans recycle a record 47.6 billion soft drink containers, an increase of 500 million over the previous year. Aluminium cans are recycled at a rate of 63% in the U.S. with the highest state-wide rate in California at80%. There are more than 10,000 recycling centres nationwide and at least 4,000 curbside collection programs. U.S. collection grows from 1.2 billion cans in 1972 to more than 62

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Term
Fall
Professor
Teresa Hamilton
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