Giving Compass' Take:

• Adele Peters at Fast Company writes on how recycling collection, sorting, processing, design, and end markets each have their own areas that must be improved in order to have more successful recycling in America. 

• What can large corporations and companies do to become more sustainable and recycle friendly? What can we do in our own homes?

• Here's how small U.S. cities are fighting to save recycling. 

You may have read that there’s a recycling crisis in the U.S. After years of accepting our used plastic and cardboard, China now won’t take it, which often means there is no place for it to go. Some city recycling programs—unable to find other buyers—have quietly started sending recyclables to incinerators or landfills, news that could make anyone question the point of separating your trash at all.

But the news is both worse—and better—than you might think. Recycling was broken in the U.S. long before China’s announcement, but there are promising technologies poised to revolutionize each point where our system currently fails. The question is, can the solutions scale fast enough to make a difference?

Each year, by one estimate, Americans throw out around 22 million tons of products that could have been recycled. Tens of millions of homes don’t have access to recycling; for those that do, everything from broken blenders to old clothing still ends up in the trash. If you drop an empty package in a recycling bin and it’s trucked off to a sorting facility, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee it will be recycled. You might have unwittingly tossed something that your local recycling service doesn’t accept, or the package might have been designed in a way that makes it unrecyclable.

Read the full article about improving America's recycling crisis by Adele Peters at Fast Company.