: Is it safe to live near recycling centers? Questions surge after Indiana plastics compound burns.

by | Apr 17, 2023 | Stock Market

As the fire at an Indiana plastics-recycling storage facility burned over several days and officials scrambled to calm evacuated residents and measure air quality, larger safety questions emerged across a nation that relies on recycling to help offset the impact of teeming landfills and littered waterways. Authorities in the eastern part of the state on Sunday finally lifted a dayslong evacuation order after it was determined immediate environmental concerns related to the fire had passed.

But the man-made disaster had already done its part, leaving many wondering if recycling centers — challenging to regulate because they range from small community-led efforts to major industrial facilities — are as safe as Americans think they are? Public health experts told MarketWatch the nation needs to take a harder look at how we store and dispose of chemicals-heavy plastics in particular, along with other recycled materials that can act as a tinderbox in certain conditions. It may be a wakeup call to the scores of Americans who embrace recycling as one of the longest-tested and straightforward solutions to help the environment. What happens after recycled materials leave the home can be quite another story. Read: Recycling is confusing — how to be smarter about all that takeout plastic Worker safety in the handling of large recycling machinery remains a priority of the Occupational Safet …

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