Edward Humes 'Recycling: Why Better Than Nothing Isn' T Good Enough

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In “Recycling: Why Better Than Nothing Isn’t Good Enough,” Pulitzer Prize-winning

Journalist and Nonfiction writer Edward Humes advocates this; “recycling, in short, is better

than nothing, but not nearly good enough on its own” (2). Humes points out that America is quite

careless with recycling and it should be made the last line of defense against waste, not the

leading one. He states that choosing recycled materials over virgin one's creates energy

and carbon savings. His purpose is to demonstrate that with packaging reductions, lifecycle

engineering, and incentives we can cut down on our waste production and eventually, eliminate

the need for recycling. Humes then concludes by discussing incentives and how they can be a
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The broad plateau at its summit is large enough to hold Dodgers Stadium with plenty of room for parking. Set to close this October, it is the country’s largest active landfill. Most of the 130 million tons of waste buried for eternity beneath its lumpy slopes could have been recycled” (1).
With the use of words such as “trash mountain”, the reader can greatly visualize America’s landfilling problem and the importance of recycling. However, despite his use of imagery, there were some faults in his essay.
The sources used in this essay were not accurately cited using in-text citations. “...Built by an American public that makes 7.1 pounds of trash per person every day, yet recycles only about a fourth of that world-leading amount of garbage” (1). This makes the reader wonder where Humes got this statistic and other scientific data. Also, the articles he uses were not peer-reviewed. This can be seen at the end of his piece where the sources listed were merely just websites and not actual scientists or scientific articles. One can conclude that these sources are not credible and therefore not helpful in constructing his

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