Interesting Facts About Recycling
Environmental Impacts of Glass
- Recycled glass saves 50% energy vs. virgin glass; recycling of one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours.
- Recycled glass generates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution
- One ton of glass made from 50% recycled materials saves 250 lbs. of mining waste
- Glass can be reused an infinite number of times; over 41 billion glass containers are made each year
- Over a ton of resources is saved for every ton of glass recycled – 1330 lbs of sand, 433 lbs of soda ash, 433 lbs of limestone, and 151 lbs of feldspar. Also a ton of glass produced from raw materials creates 384 lbs of mining waste. Using 50% recycled glass cuts the waste by 75%
- Recycled paper saves 60% energy vs. virgin paper
- Recycled paper generates 95% less air pollution; each ton saves 60 lbs of air pollution
- Recycling of each ton of paper saver 17 trees and 7000 gallons of water
- Every year enough paper is thrown away to make a 12’ wall from New York to California.
- If offices throughout the country increased the rate of two-sided photocopying from 20% to 60% they could save the equivalent of about 15 million trees
- Paper recovery averages 34 lbs for each man, woman, and child in the United States.
- Old newspapers are used to produce a variety of new products, but more than 30% goes directly back into newsprint. A significant amount, 29% is exported, while nearly 13% is made into recycled paperboard.
- Every ton of paper that is recovered saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.
- More than 36% of the fiber used to make new paper products in the United States comes from recycled sources
- 86% of Americans have access to community paper recycling programs
- Plastic milk containers are now only half the weight that they were in 1960, using less energy and raw materials to make
- If we recycled every plastic bottle we used, we would keep 2 billion tons of plastic out of landfills
- We use enough plastic wrap to wrap all of Texas every year.
Determine what items in your trash can are recyclable or reusable
Find out how to recycle in your community. Look in the yellow pages or on
the internet. There are typical collection programs available in most communities.
Determine the materials you can and will recycle. Pick a few materials to begin with, then expand to recycle other materials to ensure that the program will last.
Learn how to prepare your recyclables for recycling at collection, buy-back or drop-off programs. Some steps may be bundling newspapers in a paper grocery bag or with a string, rinsing glass bottles and jars, and rinsing metal cans.
Determine how often the curbside recycling has a pickup or how often you want to go to the recycling center.
Choose a convenient and accessible place to keep the recyclables: in the garage, under the sink, in a closet or pantry or in the basement.
Choose a storage container that will fit the designated storage space. Curbside programs usually provide roadside collection containers, and there are recycle containers available on the market. An ordinary cardboard box, trash can, or 5 gallon bucket can serve you well. Remember, one of the most used excuses for not recycling is that it looks messy. Use your imagination and practicality in determining a storage container.