The Most Important Letter in Recycling

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The most important letter in recycling was the capital ‘R’ for ‘recycling’ until a few years ago. However, now other letters are being considered important as well. Our recycling goals have increased through the years and we sift through the household and office garbage more carefully nowadays. Because we know we must recycle everything responsibly, for the sake of our planet.

How the Most Important Letter Became ‘R’ for ‘Responsible’

We have personal responsibility for the garbage we create. This begins with shopping for fruit and veg in eco-friendly, degradable packaging, but there is much more we can do. We are also duty-bound to label dangerous / toxic discards, and hand them to a person at the recycling depot.

The most important letter in recycling could well be ‘L’ for lithium batteries, if an incident at Ecomaine is anything to go by. Ecomaine is a non-profit recycler belonging to 20 municipalities in Maine, New York. They are so recycling-conscious they even use an electrical vehicle running on trash, and that’s where our story begins.

What the Video that Ecomaine Freely Shared Shows

A fire broke out when the electric vehicle unwittingly damaged a lithium battery. This should not have happened at all, had the previous owner acted responsibly. That they did not, caused a fire that took 40 minutes to extinguish. We cannot treat this as an accident. We think the individual did not try hard enough.

Frustratingly, we will never know who it was, because the evidence is all gone. “This is the most serious fire we’ve had,” the manager told Epoch Times. “If we had not had personnel so close, it could have been catastrophic for us.

“When the battery is damaged it short-circuits, there is a lot of heat, enough heat and energy to ignite flammable liquid,” he explained. Thus we need to be extra careful when disposing of laptop, and smartphone batteries.


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Preview Image: Coast of Maine near Acadia National Park

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About Author


I tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will not deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time. My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast. I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned. Richard Farrell

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