And for many, recycling is the the easiest way to make a difference. But in Sioux Falls, there's one major exception. No matter how much you recycle, there's one recyclable material still piling up in the landfill. But that's slowly beginning to change.
Despite a recycling ordinance, Sioux Falls doesn't offer glass recycling, and city officials have seen it pile up in the landfill. Now one recycling plant is hoping the addition of glass collection will help change that.
There is a long list of items Sioux Falls residents are required to recycle.
"Plastics, certain kind of metals, cardboard, office paper, newspaper, and most recently we added magazines and bulk mail," said Kevin Smith, assistant director of Public Works.
But one item you wont find on the list is glass. Sioux Falls currently has no way of recycling it, so it all heads straight to the landfill. But starting January 1st, Sioux Falls residents will have the option.
"We conducted a survey over the summer and that was one of the questions we asked was 'If you could recycle glass, would you recycle more?' and over 63 percent of respondents said they would," said Jake Anderson, owner of Millennium Recycling.
Millennium Recycling will be installing new machines to take over the process, but it's a bit of risk. The cost of the process is a main reason glass recycling wasn't an option before.