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Letter to the editor: Recycling a no-brainer

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To the Editor: Regarding: “Local support for Paris Accord necessary,” on June 12.

The Daily Iowan’s editorial “Local support for Paris Accord necessary” highlights the importance of taking local action on climate change. One of the easiest and most effective ways to participate is through recycling, which not only reduces greenhouse-gas emissions but also saves taxpayer money through avoided landfill costs.

Recycling saves impressive amounts of energy, which, in turn, reduces greenhouse-gas emissions. According to the EPA, in 2015, recycling saved enough energy to power 43 million homes for one year. On the other hand, the amount of energy lost in the United States from throwing away recyclable commodities, such as aluminum cans and newspapers, is equivalent to the annual output of 15 power plants.

Iowans can take action by learning about the recycling guidelines in their communities and encouraging local governments to invest in recycling infrastructure that gives municipalities the biggest bang for their buck. Last year, residents of Scott County successfully upgraded their recycling system, an improvement that has increased recycling rates by 61 percent and saved local municipalities more than $100,000. All of us have a responsibility to take action on climate change, and recycling is an easy way to get started now.

— Kathy Morris, director of Waste Commission of Scott County

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