It’s been slow going, but we’ve found a space to begin our plastic recycling operation here in Port Townsend. If we’re successful we’ll end the use of fossil fuels in the collecting of recyclables in our town, and beyond.
Once we get some traction in our community we’ll be taking our model to surrounding communities. If we supported local recycling in every community we would make an unprecedented move forward away from the economic style which makes pollution a central product it’s operations.
But to be clear, recycling in itself is not the solution. In fact, the results of decades of our national recycling program has been an increase in production and consumption of single use-plastics. The current recycling industry is a profit driven model which creates profit through high volume. To accomplish this it requires incredibly large amounts of fuel to transport material from hundreds of miles away to central locations. Also fact, there isn’t much actual ‘recycling’ going on. We collect and packager recyclables and ship them off to other countries. China was just one. There are some productions which actually shred material in the US but they are few.
So we see no end in sight of the production and consumption of single use plastics. And we see no future in the large-scale fossil fuel dependent recycling programs. It is our belief through a small-scale approach community organizations can drastically reduce the costs associated with recycling and provide sustainable jobs in that community. A local recycling program also begins to close the loop on consumerism which is the only way to truly face the consequences of our consumer habits. Though I feel this model would be a positive encouragement for community members to participate once in for all in community change. When our communities change, our country will follow.
We can’t leave our garbage for the big trucks anymore. We have to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle WITHOUT contributing to our dependency on fossil fuels or the creation of ever more pollution. In the least, “global warming” is the result of global pollution, so our only hope is in programs like this which will stop the causes of pollution at the source. Gas for garbage is not a good way.
Below is our first machine. It will take at least 6 of these to handle our share.