What Can Be Recycled
Aluminum cans are 100 percent recyclable, and they can be recycled over and over again. Even better, turning recycled cans into new cans takes 9.5 percent less energy than making brand-new ones. So how about starting with all those soda and juice cans?
2. PET PLASTIC BOTTLES
Americans will buy about 25 billion single-serving bottles of water this year, Worse yet, nearly 80 percent of according to the Container Institute. Worse yet, nearly 80 percent of those bottles will end up in a landfill. Let’s put a stop to that. Making plastic out of recycled resources uses about two-thirds less energy than making new plastic. And because PET plastic bottles, more than any other type of plastic, are the most commonly used type, they are usually the easiest to recycle.
This is a pretty obvious one, right? It seems like a no-brainer to set up a recycling bin next to your garbage can for newspaper and any other scrap paper. But why should we recycle paper? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, paper makes up about one-third of the municipal waste stream in the U.S. That’s a whole lot of paper, and since know that recycling all that paper resources, saves energy, and doesn’t clog up the landfills, there’s no reason not to do it.
4. CORRUGATED CARDBOARD
Old corrugated cardboard (OCC) represents a significant percentage of the commercial solid waste stream. In 1996, the U.S. generated 20 million tons of OCC or 13.8 percent of our municipal waste stream, Approximately 90 percent of that comes from the commercial or non-residential sector, the places where we work. So next time UPS delivers a big box to your office, be sure to break it down and recycle it — after you’ve emptied it, of course.
5. STEEL CANS
Just like aluminum, steel products can be recycled over again without compromising the quality ofthe steeL We’re talking about steel cans, but maybe you have some steel auto parts or appliances ready for recycling too? More than 80 million tons of steel are recycled each year in North America, and recycling steel saves the equivalent energy to power 18 million households a year. You can learn
more about steel recycling by visiting the Steel Recycling Institute website.
6. HDPE PLASTIC BOTTLES
HDPE stands for high-density polyethylene, a common and more dense plastic, which is used in detergents, bleach, shampoo and milk jugs. HDPE plastics can he identified by the logo on the bottom of the container — three arrows in the shape of a triangle. Check the number inside that logo: numbers 1 and 2 are recyclable almost everywhere, but 3 through 7 are only recyclable in limited areas. And don’t forget to rinse and clean all of your HDPE containers in the sink. Any remaining dirt or food particles can contaminate the recycling process.
7. GLASS CONTAINERS
Recycled glass saves percent energy versus virgin glass, and recycling just one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours. Recycled glass generates 20 percent less air pollution and 50 percent less water pollution, and one ton of glass made from 50 percent recycled materials saves 250 pounds of mining waste. Wow!
8.19. MAGAZINES AND MIXED PAPER
There are so many reasons to recycle all kinds of paper that it makes no sense not to. First, recycled paper saves 60 percent ol’ energy versus virgin paper, and also generates 95 percent less air pollution. Recycling one ton ofpaper saves 1 7 trees and 7,000 gallons of water. Sadly, though, every year Americans throw away enough paper to make a 12-foot wall from New York to California. Let’s work on changing that!