With all of us waiting with baited breath to see what kind of crazy turn the economy will take next, even recycling centers from coast to coast are asking "Where to we go from here?" In the past decade, recycling has become standard protocol, but we may start to see some changes in what our city recycling centers will accept. Why? Because the drop in consumer-product production has slowed demand for recyclable goods. So those cardboard cereal boxes you so diligently recycled might end up accumulating in a recycling yard only to eventually get dumped in the landfill, according to the New York Times' article "Back at Junk Value, Recyclables Are Piling Up." That means that cities won't profit as much from recycling materials and they may wind up deleting less lucrative plastics and metals from their "will accept" lists. I, however, refuse (no pun) to believe that recycling is totally passé. It's still worth it to try -- and, if you're nervous about whether your local recycling center is shipping off recyclables to the dump, it's worth a phone call to ask. In the meantime, try to reduce your packaging and waste this holiday season (that means wrapping paper!), and search out companies that have their own recycling programs, such as Stonyfield and Patagonia.
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