Americans produce a lot of trash — about 7.1 pounds per person per day. Out of that, less that one-quarter gets recycled. Should we be recycling more?
As scholar Daniel K. Benjamin explains, it depends on the item being recycled. For some trash, recycling uses up more resources than would creating the material from scratch. In this brief video, Benjamin provides some helpful rules of thumb about when you should and should not bother to recycle.