According to the EPA, the average American produces 4.5 lbs of trash per day, with just 1lb recycled. That means, in a year, you generate 1642.5 lbs of TRASH each year, averaging only 365 lbs recycled. There are roughly 305 million people living in the U.S., that means each year 499 BILLION pounds of trash are produced. That is a lot of WASTE! On average, roughly 70% of all we throw away can actually be RECYCLED. REUSED. So give your old jeans a new life, your recycling bin some use and your trash can a little breathing room.
Recycling an aluminum can saves 95 percent of the energy required to make the same amount of aluminum from virgin materials.
Producing glass from virgin materials requires 30 percent more energy than producing it from crushed, used glass.
- Almost 80 percent of U.S. paper mills rely on recovered recycled paper. In fact it supplies 37 percent of their material.
- Producing recycled paper requires about 60 percent of the energy used to make paper from virgin wood pulp.
- One ton of uncoated virgin (non-recycled) printing and office paper uses 24 trees.
- Producing recycled paper causes 74 percent less air pollution and 35 percent less water pollution than producing virgin paper.
- One ton of paper made from recycled scrap paper saves 7,000 gallons of water.
- Recycled paper production uses 59 percent less water compared to paper production from virgin resources. Typically, older virgin paper mills will use 100 pounds of water to make one pound of paper.
What Can I Recycle?
Virtually everything made of plastic should be marked with a code. Not all types can actually be recycled. Types 1 and 2 are widely accepted in container form, and type 4 is sometimes accepted in bag form. Code 7 is for mixed or layered plastic with little recycling potential. You should place in your bin only those types of plastic listed by your local recycling agency.
Check out this RECYCLING GUIDE for specifics about what you can and can't toss in your recycling bin!(A great flyer to print and keep in a convenient place, like your refrigerator!)
- Type 1 - PETE Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET): Soda & water containers, some waterproof packaging.
- Type 2 - HDPE High-Density Polyethylene: Milk, detergent & oil bottles. Toys and plastic bags.
- Type 3 - V Vinyl/Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): Food wrap, vegetable oil bottles, blister packages.
- Type 4 - LDPE Low-Density Polyethylene: Many plastic bags. Shrink wrap, garment bags.
- Type 5 - PP Polypropylene: Refrigerated containers, some bags, most bottle tops, some carpets, some food wrap.
- Type 6 - PS Polystyrene: Throwaway utensils, meat packing, protective packing.
- Type 7 - OTHER: Usually layered or mixed plastic. No recycling potential - must be landfilled.
Types 1 and 2 are commonly recycled. Type 4 is less commonly recycled. The other types are generally not recycled, except perhaps in small test programs. Common plastics polycarbonate (PC) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) do not have recycling numbers.
The code must be molded into the plastic item. The symbol should be easily visible for sorting purposes. The best symbols are large with a different surface finish than the surrounding plastic. If the container has a matte surface (rough), then the symbol should be smooth, a smooth container should have a rough recycling symbol.
*Disclaimer: These guidelines will generally apply to most recycling centers, however, each program may have their own requirements.
To learn more about Oklahoma's recycling centers, visit www.deq.state.ok.us
Keep America Beautiful- I Want to Be Recycled
When you visit I Want to Be Recycled you will learn how every material can be recycled. The site explains the process each material must goes through in order to to become a new product!
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