Tomorrow is America Recycles Day. It saddens me to see so many families in my neighborhood that use one or two large trash cans but don’t put out any recycling bins. There’s no excuse since our local trash companies do not charge extra to take your recycling.
RecycleBank, a company that rewards households in over 12 states for recycling with a program that is similar to how airlines give you rewards miles, sent me some general recycling info to share with you. Check out their website to see if their service is offered in your area.
- Buying goods made from recycled products is actually just as important as recycling. By literally “buying recycled,” you take an active role in insuring the success of recycling programs across the country. The more we demand environmentally sound products, the more big business will have to deliver.
- There are well over 4,500 recycled content products available to consumers. This is growing every day as recycled products become more popular.
- Check the package of your favorites products to see if they are make from recycled waste.
- Set up a recycling program at home and work. Make sure there is a bin for paper and cans upstairs as well as downstairs in your home. Each office cube should have a box for recycling paper, cans and bottles.
- Demand that public places start recycling programs. I was surprised to see that the usually hip San Francisco airport didn’t have recycling bins for newspapers, magazines, bottles and cans. But Denver International Airport does, probably because of the 2008 Democratic National Convention here in Denver was a green event.
- Do you attend professional conferences? Ask if they have recycling available in the conference center to recycle paper, cans, glass, etc. Some conferences, like BlogHer’s, also have rooms where you can drop off any swag goodies you don’t want. What wasn’t picked up by other attendees was donated.
Top 11 things you should recycle
- PET Plastic Bottles
- Corrugated Cardboard
- Steel Cans
- HDPE Plastic Bottles
- Glass Containers
- Mixed Paper-including junk mail, phone books, and envelopes with windows
- Computers, Cell Phones, TV’s, printer cartridges – Some communities have special drop off days for these types of items. Libraries and schools offer cell phone donation and printer cartridge recycling programs as a fundraiser.
- Plastic bags – grocery stores are now recycling these. My children’s school recycles them as a fundraiser.
Recycling facts and figures
- Recycling is a $236 billion dollar a year industry.
- Recycling creates jobs: For every 10,000 tons of waste, 36 jobs are created to recycle it! (This is versus one job created for incineration and six for landfill dumping.)
- The average American discards 7.5 lbs. of garbage every day, 75% of which is actually recyclable. Of that 75%, only 25% is actually being recycled. Shame on us!
- The US hovers at a 33% recycling rate, saving more than 5 billion gallons of gasoline and reducing our dependence on foreign oil by 114 million barrels.
- According to a 2007 Harris Poll, about 25% of Americans do not recycle at all at home. 62-and-over adults are leading the pack.
- In a 2008 Harris Poll, 53% of Americans said that they have done something in the past year to positively effect the environment. The top thing: Recycling (91%).
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