Simple Recycling Tips + Fun Facts and MythsDid you know that the US recycles only 22% of discarded materials and generates more waste than any other country in the world? Here are some other things you might know about this earth-friendly practice:
- Only 21% of the US participates in recycling.
- 75% participation would have the equivalent impact of removing 55 million cars from the road each year!
- Enough plastic bottles are recycled each year to circle the earth 4 times.
- 1 glass jar saves enough energy to light an 11 watt CFL bulb for 20 hours
- 1 ton of cardboard saves 46 gallons of oil
- 1 ton of plastic bottles saves the equivalent energy usage of a two person household for a year!
Fact or Fiction? 3 Recycling Myths DebunkedHere are some common recycling myths and the real deal about what’s happening at your recycling center.
Myth #1: “Recycling uses more energy than making something new.”Nope! Take aluminum cans for example: recycling aluminum cans saves 95% of the energy used to make new cans. That’s a pretty powerful fact. We also save water by recycling versus creating new products, so it’s not always just about the object itself.
Myth #2: “If you sort your recyclables wrong they will just go to the landfill.”Recycling rules have changed and simplified a lot over the years and every recycling center manages recyclable material depending on their equipment and resources, but, in most places, one container will accept all household recyclables. Note: it’s important to wash them first to help reduce odors and simplify the processing of material. That said, a little food residue or missed staples are unlikely to get in the way of your recycling efforts!
Myth #3: “It all just ends up in the same place anyway – the landfill.”This is a big one and, sadly, very common. One thing you may not know – your recyclables are a commodity that there are actually buyers for! Garbage companies find markets and over 75% of recycled material is successfully recycled at its endpoint. If you see your garbage truck picking up your recyclables, don’t worry – many communities have both services handled by the same truck and taken to a sorting facility. All that said, plastic is a major problem and out of 8.3bn tons, only 9% has ever been recycled, so avoiding plastic in our lives means we will have to recycle less of it.
Our Top Simple Recycling Tips:Recycling doesn’t need to be complicated! Here are some quick and easy ways you can reduce, reuse and recycle in your daily life.
1. Find your local recycler and learn what they are able to recycle.Google your local recycler and research what they recycle. One of the largest suppliers of waste and recycling services, provides these guidelines.
2. Keep it simple.If you can commit to even just these three steps, you’ll be off to a great start:
- Recycle all empty bottles, cans, paper and cardboard
- Keep food and liquids out of your recycling
- Keep plastic bags out of your recycling