Electronics contain an array of highly toxic metal compounds; keeping them out of landfills and reusing the materials in them needs to be a higher priority.
Cities and counties need to step up as well. More need to go to single-source recycling, which allows residents to put a variety of recyclable materials — including cans, bottles and paper — into one container for curbside pickup. The practice has shown to dramatically increase — often doubling — recycling levels.
Household recycling rates are far too low — ranging from about 12 to 30 percent depending on the city. Increasing those rates significantly is needed to combat waste.
And to that point, while laws and easier pickup can boost recycling, another element is key: Individuals must do better at taking the responsibility and making the effort to recycle as much as they can — from electronics and cans to clothing and food waste.