Recycling Retreat

Is recycling fervor on the wane?

Experts fear the nation's recycling fever is cooling at a time when demand for many recyclables is strong and the recycling industry is dependent upon a steady diet of used bottles and cans. The recycling rage began in the 1970s following concerns about burgeoning landfills and pollution. Thousands of communities across the nation started curbside recycling programs, enabling residents to separate bottles, cans and newspapers from their regular trash. But there are signs that enthusiasm for recycling is flagging. This week, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources released a study showing more than 60 percent of residential and commercial waste in the state's landfills could be recycled. Recycling officials say consumers don't believe recycling is important any more and the industry hasn't received as much publicity as before.