Day 270 – Recycling has had it challenges throughout the years. As a society, we consume way too much. So much so, we can not keep up on the waste. We don’t have the infrastructure to recycle what we can and we are running out of landfills to bury everything else. Our first goal to improving our situation is to reduce what we are using and throwing away. We need to move to a reusable way of life and ditch the single-use items.
Recycle Across America is a non-profit trying to improve the recycling rates across America, by providing information with best practices to reduce, reuse, refuse and recycle. They offer countless resources to help increase recycling rates and to take the guessing out of the recycling process.
NO food, NO liquids, NO straws, NO plastic cups and NO plastic dishware in the recycling bin.
NEVER put your recyclables in plastic bags and never put any plastic bags in your regular recycling bin or recycling dumpster. Plastic bags and plastic wrap get jammed in recycling processing equipment, which causes recycling to be expensive to process.
NO plastic bags, NO Styrofoam, and NO plastic wraps or wrappers should ever go in the recycling bin.
Unless you have a clean cardboard pizza box, please do not put cheesy, oily pizza boxes in your recycling bin. The oil, cheese, and sauce on the box can contaminate the cardboard.
Never put glass drinkware or window glass in your bin. Recycle glass bottles and jars only.
Put the plastic cap back on the empty plastic bottle or jug before you put it in the recycling bin.
Recycle all clean paper and all clean and flattened cardboard boxes. If you have time, please remove all tape and all plastic wrap that might be attached to the cardboard. They will accept tape on the cardboard, but the cardboard recycling processors will greatly appreciate it if you remove all plastic materials from the cardboard.
Instead of wish-cycling, make sure every common recyclable such as metal cans, plastic bottles, plastic jugs, clean cardboard, and clean paper gets recycled. And if you’re not sure about something, let it go to the landfill to avoid contamination.
DO NOT THROW COMPOSTABLE PLASTICS IN RECYCLING BINS – compostable plastics such as PLA, are not recyclable and can actually contaminate good recycling.
Do not throw batteries or electronics in your recycle bin. Take them to the proper facilities to have them recycled properly.
“Without exception, recycling is the top action society can do to simultaneously improve: the environment, the economy, sustainable manufacturing and to prevent waste from going into oceans.” – Recycle Across America
Day 232 – There are currently over 2,000 landfills in the United States. The reason we have so many landfills is due to the fact that we, Americans, throw a lot of stuff away. We are constantly tossing things in the trash without giving a second thought as to where it goes. If we just took a moment to ask, “Where is away?”, maybe we could start making changes in our behavior to minimize the amount of waste we produce.
Rubicon is the leading provider of cloud-based waste and recycling solutions for businesses, governments, and organizations worldwide. With more than 4.9 million service locations, Rubicon focuses on developing software solutions that bring new transparency to the waste and recycling industry—encouraging customers to make data-driven decisions that lead to more efficient and effective operations as well as more sustainable outcomes.
Nine-tenths of all solid waste in the United States does not get recycled.
Landfills are among the biggest contributors to soil pollution – roughly 80% of the items buried in landfills could be recycled.
The U.S. recycling rate is around 34.5%. If we’re able to get the rate to 75%, the effect will be like removing 50 million passenger cars from U.S. roads.
9 out of 10 people said they would recycle if it were “easier”.
The United States throws away $11.4 billion worth of recyclable containers and packaging every year.
In the United States, we throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour – about 42,000 per minute, or about 695 per second.
The amount of plastic film and wrap produced annually could shrink-wrap the state of Texas.
According to a study done by the University of Georgia, 18 billion pounds of plastic trash winds up in our oceans each year. To put that in perspective, it’s enough trash to cover every foot of coastline around the world with five full trash bags of plastic…compounding every year.
Over 100,000 marine animals die every year from plastic entanglement and ingestion.
Glass, like aluminum, is infinitely recyclable – without any loss in purity or quality.
Glass container manufacturers hope to achieve 50 percent recycled content in the manufacture of new glass bottles. This achievement would save enough energy to power 21,978 homes for one year and while removing over 181 tons of waste from landfills monthly.
In only three months, enough aluminum cans are thrown out in the United States to rebuild all of our commercial air fleets.
You can make 20 new cans from recycled material using the same amount of energy that it takes to make 1 brand new can.
While the United States celebrates the holidays, Americans produce an additional 5 million tons of waste (four million of the 5 million tons consisting of wrapping paper and shopping bags).
The majority of the 4 million tons of junk mail that Americans receive annually ends up in landfills.
On average, Americans use 650 pounds of paper a year. Each.
Americans make nearly 400 billion photocopies a year, which comes out to 750,000 copies every minute.
The average office worker in the United States goes through roughly 500 disposable cups annually.
2,000 pounds (or 1 ton) of recycled paper helps to save over 350 gallons of oil, 17 trees, and a large portion of landfill space
Of the 62 million newspapers printed daily in the United States, 44 million will be thrown away (roughly 500,000 trees).
Until we begin to realize that even though our trash may leave our house, it is not leaving our town or city. It is just being transported to another location, where the pile will continue to grow and grow. When will we begin to realize that a change needs to happen? Maybe when that pile becomes so large that the trash finds its way back to your home.
Tomorrow, a use for mango skins you most likely had no idea was possible.