When you think about recycling, newspapers and aluminum cans may come to mind. But there's something you may buy everyday that's not being recycled enough.
Bottles of water line the shelves of grocery and convenience stores everywhere. But one place you won't find very many water bottles is at recycling centers. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, bottled water has seen the most growth in sales out of all beverages over the last decade, but has been recycled the least out of all plastics.
" Recycling plastics is a solid waste management issue. You have plastics ending up in the landfill, you also have them thrown out of cars and in the parking lots and that causes a litter problem," said Doug Thompson, Coordinator for the Recycling Center in Bryan.
Thompson says the decrease in recycling plastics not only causes litter problems, but also hurts the environment. He suspects a lot of people don't recycle because they see it as an inconvenience.
" It's easy to run in the store a grab a water bottle or coke bottle. It takes a little more effort to recycle it," said Thompson.
Some states offer a cash refund for recycling plastic bottles. Texas is not one of them, but some recyclers don't need an incentive. Charlotte Proudfoot is one of them.
" I recycle to help the environment and also to keep things out of the landfill," said Proudfoot.
Bryan tries to make recycling easy with a drive through lane at the recycling center. Residents can also earn a free month of garbage service for recycling. Proudfoot says cities should do more to promote recycling.
" I think more places should put out containers where you can recycle your water bottles and things like that," said Proudfoot.
Plastic bottles can take 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill. City workers hope that fact alone will encourage more recycling.
Bryan's drive through recycling center is located in the Super Wal-Mart parking lot. College Station offers curb side pickup.
Both cities will be hosting special recycling events for Earth Day next month.