Would Recycling Be Better for Earth If We Sorted Our Own Trash?

(Image credit: Kristian Bjornard)cc by-sa 2.0

Have you ever wondered how your recycling works? If you live in a city where it’s done single-stream, you throw all your scrap paper, glass, and metal in a bin, and a truck takes it away. How is it sorted into separate bits? A piece at The Atlantic explains a little more — and some of the drawbacks to this convenience.

Single-stream recycling, where consumers don’t have to pre-sort their recycling, is touted as much more convenient and it has certainly helped rates of recycling. But it makes it harder to keep the final streams uncontaminated, and some argue that this method still leaves too much in landfills.