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Unit III Research Proposal (Environmental Impact)

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The Question

Unit III Research Proposal (Environmental Impact)

Follow the directions below for the completion of the Research Proposal assignment for Unit III.

?Purpose: The purpose of the research proposal is to help you to understand your project, to gain direction and

feedback on your project, and to establish a blueprint for your project .

?Description: In this assignment, you will create a research proposal consisting of three sections:

o Section 1: What is the topic? (100 -150 words)

o Section 2: What is the controversy?

Include paragraphs that detail both sides of the controversy. (300-400 words)

o Section 3: Your tentative thesis statement (one to two sentences)

All sources must be documented via APA citations and references. You may also seek out the guidance of the Success

Center; the specialists are always there to assist you with your writing and comprehension.

Running head: RECYCLING CAN BE WORTH IT Recycling Can Be Worth It, If We Focus Efforts


Student?s Name


Columbia Southern University 1 RECYCLING CAN BE WORTH IT 2 Recycling Can Be Worth It, If We Focus Our Efforts


The Topic


For decades, people have expressed concern about the environment and how human


activity may impact it in a negative way. Conservation efforts have included global concerns


about production waste, water pollution, and endangered species. Because the scope of human


activity has an array of negative effects, many people feel somewhat powerless to affect any kind


of real change. As a result, ecologists and activists have attempted to educate the public about


ways that every individual might make small changes that will begin to alleviate long-term


effects. One of these methods is household recycling. Recently, however, some people have


begun to question the efficacy of recycling as a means for alleviating landfill waste.


The Controversy


An on-going concern is that recycling is not the solution that the U.S. government


thought it would be in the 1980s. While many people do not disagree that recycling is a good


idea, there is little to incentivize people to recycle. Further, some people even question whether


recycling bottles is better for the environment because of the shear amount of energy resources


used in the production of recycled bottles that still cause waste. There is increasing concern


about unsustainable resources and whether or not the human race can afford not to recycle.


Pro Side of the Controversy


While there are imperfections in the recycling process, those in favor of recycling


contend that investing in the process is worth it because of the positive impacts to the


environment. According to the Aluminum Association (as cited in Moss & Scheer, 2015),


aluminum cans are the most recycled material, which is good because recycling these cans saves


aluminum and only uses 8% of the energy to make a new can. Recycling prevents the release of RECYCLING CAN BE WORTH IT 3 dangerous carbon dioxide. According to Moss and Scheer (2015), who interviewed the U.S.


Environmental Protection Agency in 2013, recycling and compositing saved nearly 186 million


metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. Szaky (2015) argues that


those against recycling fail to account for the current impacts of failing to recycle. For example,


a new study by the 5 Gyres Institute indicates that there are more than five trillion pieces of


plastic floating on the surface of the world?s oceans, which is roughly the weight of 134,500


average U.S. cars (Elks & Hower, 2014). While the statistics can be staggering, others are


concerned about the economic questions regarding recycling and sustainability.


Con Side of the Controversy


Those who question recycling do so on the basis of effectiveness and convenience.


Hutchinson (2008) contends that while a plastic water bottle might last in a landfill for centuries,


the petroleum reused is barely worth the diesel fuel burned by the large trucks sent to collect the


bottles. While recycling aluminum is worth the energy, recycling glass uses 21% less energy


(Hutchinson, 2008). There are further concerns about looking at recycling as part of a larger


picture. For example, Chris Goodall calculates that ?if you wash plastic in water that was heated


by coal-derived electricity, then the net effect of your recycling could be more carbon in the


atmosphere? (as cited in Tierney, 2015). While some cities are attempting to convert to a ?zero


trash? policy within the next 15 to 20 years, there is no guarantee that these expensive measures


will have any positive impacts on the environment; in fact, many speculate that the benefits are


few (Tierney, 2015). RECYCLING CAN BE WORTH IT 4 Tentative Thesis Statement


Recycling efforts should continue because materials that are recycled are often


unsustainable, there should be a more focused effort to recycle materials that have a


reproduction-cost benefit. References


Elks, J., & Hower, M. (2014, December 18). Reports find over 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating


in the world?s oceans?and 10,000 times more in the deep sea. Retrieved from




Hutchinson, A. (2008, November 12). Is recycling worth it? PM investigates its economic and


environmental impact. Retrieved from




Moss, D., & Scheer, R. (2015, November 5). Is recycling worth it? Retrieved from


Szaky, T. (2015, October 13). 7 reasons why recycling is not a waste: A response to ?The Reign


of Recycling.? Retrieved from






Tierney, J. (2015, October 3). The reign of recycling. The New York Times. Retrieved from


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Unit III Research Proposal (Environmental Impact)

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