Recycle Plastic & Avoid Drastic

Group 9: Bird Dogs aka Marker

For Starters...

Of around the 8.3 billion metric tons of waste that is produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that only 9% is currently being recycled. The other 79% is gathering together in landfills across the globe.

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root cause

The number one root cause of our issue is that people are using non-biodegradable plastic products which eventually end up in landfills, streets, and bodies of water ultimately damaging our environment. Trash is evidently seen in the Brazos River because of the massive amount of non-biodegradable and plastic waste being used in the city of Waco alone. At the Waco Landfill specifically, 290,000 tons is delivered for disposal each year.

Evidence

Solid waste is the #1 contributor to landfills. Homes, schools, offices and most other public places contribute massive amounts of trash including wood, paper, broken furniture, and plastic. Most of these materials are not biodegradable. For example, all of the plastic bags that end up in the ocean turn into micro-plastics. Micro-plastics make their way into the food chain, and then get into our food. The chemicals and micro-plastics can be very harmful to us and other creatures, but the "plastic" material never actually completely disappears.

goals

By replacing plastics and non-biodegradables with reusable and biodegradable materials, we will reduce the amount of trash and waste in landfills and improve our community’s ecosystems.


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Partners

Mission Waco

Keep Waco Beautiful

City Council

School Board

Landfill Representatives

Recycling Company Representatives


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Interviews

We spoke with Sunbright recycling representative Karla White. She said that 3000 tons of materials are recycled every month to their facilities. The most recycled item they receive is cardboard, and the least recycled item is plastic. The items that are given to Sunbright that are not recyclable are glass, Styrofoam, bags, contaminated food containers, pizza boxes, and needles. Karla also said that they have to sort all these items out by hand before recycling the rest. Sunbright no longer pays for recycling, but now they charge for the items because the recycling market is in a downward spiral.



We spoke with Larry Holsey from the Waco City Landfill. He told us that the landfill is 30 years old and the most common trash item is household trash and food. The landfill will last for 5 to 6 more years before it reaches its full capacity and Waco will need to build a new one. However a new landfill is a huge process that costs millions of dollars so planning for another landfill will need to begin within the year.

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Action Steps

Partnering with Keep Waco Beautiful to set up a river clean up

Partnering with Mission Waco to provide compact reusable items for the impoverished

Petition for law or regulation on plastic bags in stores

Give options for restaurants to use reusable straws for customers

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Thoughts from the week

Ty:I learned about more reusable and biodegradable products, and what I can recycle.


Hannah: I learned about many different problems in our community, and different places that help.


Aldo: I learned more about issues in our community, specifically the issue of immigration.


Anthony: I learned that before you achieve your goal you have to locate your partners and tactics.


Karis: I learned how to advocate for things I am passionate about and the importance of safety in schools.


Emma: I learned about recycling and landfills and how they affect the community

Sources

Waco Tribune-Herald

National Geographic

Waco City Landfill Representatives

Sunbright Recycling Company Representatives

Mission Waco Representatives

Keep Waco Beautiful Representatives

Meet the Team

Not Pictured, but still Awesome

Diego Adams

Gracie Acosta

Enoch Zhu