Recycling should be a way of life these days.
In case a family member or friend still needs a nudge in the right direction–or if you’d like to increase your own recycling rate, now’s the time: the 11th America Recycles Day is November 15.
Consider this Data
- The national recycling rate is 33.4 percent, which means we recycle about a third of the items we discard.
- Americans in 2007 recycled and composted 85 million tons of the 254 million tons of total municipal solid waste produced.
RESULT: This saved the energy equivalent of more than 10.7 billion gallons of gasoline and prevented the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 35 million passenger vehicles.
- Each person produced 4.6 pounds of trash per day, of which 1.5 pounds were recycled or composted.
- Recycling has increased slightly over 2006, when people recycled and composted around 82 million tons of the 251 million tons of total municipal solid waste produced.
- Recycling reduces costs to businesses.
- Recycling creates jobs. WHY? The American recycling and reuse industry is a $200 billion dollar enterprise involving more than 50,000 recycling and reuse establishments, employing more than 1 million people, and generating an annual payroll of approximately $37 billion.
Source: EPA’s 2007 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization report
More than 35 states are holding America Recycles Day events, with state and local governments, non-profit organizations, and large industry partners promoting recycling efforts.
Dos and Don’ts of Recycling
Get to know what should and should not be recycled.
Your local public works department or recycling organization should have the details. In general, the National Recycling Coalition has a few things to keep in mind:
Rinsing cans and keeping boxes out of the weather makes them easier to process. That keeps costs down.
Be an accurate recycler. A cereal box is probably great, but a greasy pizza box may not be. Check the lid of your recycling bin for guidelines, or make a call or visit your municipal Web site to find out the rules and follow them.
Here are some sure-thing recyclables:
- Steel cans
- Aluminum cans
- Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, junk mail
- Plastic beverage bottles
- Milk jugs
- Glass bottles and jars
- Cereal boxes, other clean and dry cardboard boxes.
Don’t recycle these:
- Plastic grocery bags
- Food-soiled paper
- Wax paper
DO Recycle Electronics
Recycle your old computers and cell phones. Check out Dell, Staples, and Waste Management/Recycle America websites for information on how you can recycle these items.
Hazardous wastes have their place
Household hazardous wastes like paint cans, motor oil, antifreeze, car batteries, pesticides, pool chemicals, etc., usually need to be disposed of separately. Again, check your community resources and guidelines –or check out this great website>>