Sunday, May 30, 2010

FAQs about recycling

What are the benefits of recycling?

Economic:

  • Creates jobs
  • Saves money

More info from the National Recycling Coalition

Environmental:

  • Conserves landfill space
  • Reduces air, water and land pollution
  • Reduces green house gas emissions
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
  • Conserves energy
  • Prevents habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity, and soil erosion associated with logging and mining

More info from the National Recycling Coalition

Social

  • Promotes community pride, awareness and cleanliness
  • Is an easy way for people to protect and conserve the environment
  • Helps sustain the environment for future generations
  • Reduces the need for mining and the demand for virgin resources

What are some key facts about recycling?

Statistics on commonly recycled items:

General:

  • Kansas City, Missouri recycles between 1,200 and 1,500 tons a month through its KC Recycles curbside recycling program.
  • The United States currently recycles 28 percent of its waste, a rate that has almost doubled during the past 15 years.
  • Twenty years ago, only one curbside recycling program existed in the United States, which collected several materials at the curb. By 1998, 9,000 curbside programs and 12,000 recyclable drop-off centers had sprouted up across the nation.
  • In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage. This means that each adult will leave a legacy of as much as 100,000 pounds of trash for his or her children.
  • Each person generates about 4.5 pounds of waste per day.

Paper:

  • Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy and 7,000 gallons of water!
  • Paper products make up approximately 40 percent of our trash.
  • Every day Americans recover about 40 percent of the paper we use.
  • Paper products use up at least 35 percent of the world's annual commercial wood harvest.
  • More than 1/3 of all fiber used to make paper comes from recycled paper.

Aluminum cans:

  • An aluminum can is unique in that in 60 days it is recycled, turned into a new can and back on a store shelf.
  • Over 50% of the aluminum cans produced are recycled.
  • Making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95 percent less energy.
  • Twenty recycled cans can be made with the energy needed to produce one can using virgin ore.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your television for three hours.
  • Tossing away an aluminum can wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can's volume of gasoline.

Plastic bottles:

  • Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60W bulb for up to six hours.
  • It takes about 450 years for one plastic bottle to break down in the ground!
  • It takes about 25 recycled plastic drinks bottles to make one fleece jacket.
  • Recycling one ton of soda and water bottles saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.
  • PET bottles are made into fiberfill, carpets, clothing, automotive parts and industrial strapping, sheet and film.

Glass containers:

  • Every glass bottle recycled saves enough energy to light a 100 watt light bulb for four hours.
  • Glass never wears out -- it can be recycled forever. We save over one ton of resources for every ton of glass recycled -- 1,330 pounds of sand, 433 pounds of soda ash, 433 pounds of limestone and 151 pounds of feldspar.
  • Recycled glass saves 50% energy versus virgin glass.
  • Recycled glass generates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution.
  • One ton of glass made from 50% recycled materials saves 250 pounds of mining waste.

Sources: St. Louis County Department of Health, U.S. EPA, Illinois Recycling Association, Oberlin College Recycling Association, Earth 911, Container Recycling Institute and South Lakeland District Council

Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

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