Monthly Archives: March 2012
Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. Collecting used bottles, cans, and newspapers and taking them to the curb or to a collection facility is just the first in a series of steps that generates a host of financial, environmental, and social returns. Some of these benefits accrue locally as well as globally.
Benefits of Recycling
- Recycling protects and expands US manufacturing jobs and increases US competitiveness.
- Recycling reduces the need for landfilling and incineration.
- Recycling prevents pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials.
- Recycling saves energy.
- Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.
- Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals.
- Recycling helps sustain the environment for future generations.
Paper Recycling Facts
|To produce each week’s Sunday newspapers, 500,000 trees must be cut down.|
|Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.|
|If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!|
|If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.|
|If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you’d get about 700 of them. A busy supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags! Imagine how many supermarkets there are just in the United States!!!|
|The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 trees per year!|
|The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.|
|Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.|
|Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person.|
|The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.|
|In 1993, U.S. paper recovery saved more than 90,000,000 cubic yards of landfill space.|
|Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!|
|The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.|
|The construction costs of a paper mill designed to use waste paper is 50 to 80% less than the cost of a mill using new pulp.|
Aluminum Recycling Facts
|A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. That’s closed loop recycling at its finest!|
|Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the U.S., but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.|
|Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours — or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.|
|More aluminum goes into beverage cans than any other product.|
|Because so many of them are recycled, aluminum cans account for less than 1% of the total U.S. waste stream, according to EPA estimates.|
|An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!|
|There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled.|
|We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year.|
|At one time, aluminum was more valuable than gold!|
|A 60-watt light bulb can be run for over a day on the amount of energy saved by recycling 1 pound of steel. In one year in the United States, the recycling of steel saves enough energy to heat and light 18,000,000 homes!|
What to Recycle
The confusion over what we can and cannot recycle continues to confound consumers. Plastics are especially troublesome, as different types of plastic require different processing to be reformulated and re-used as raw material. Some municipalities accept all types of plastic for recycling, while others only accept jugs, containers and bottles with certain numbers stamped on their bottoms.
- Empty and rinse all containers.
- Flatten cartons and boxes, and place them inside your cart.
- Secure shredded paper and textiles inside a clear plastic bag.
- Sorting Your Waste: WHAT GOES WHERE?
- What Can You Recycle? (anc7d01.wordpress.com)
- What Can and Can’t Be Recycled? (bellasugar.com)
- What should be done about plastic bags? (changebydesign.wordpress.com)
- Seven Steps to Better Recycling (apmortgagemarin.wordpress.com)