By Larraine Roulston:
There are hundreds of great reasons to recycle! Rather than just throwing everything away, recycling saves space, natural resources, energy, money and time. It also creates jobs and reduces the release of toxins into our environment. During the mid-1980s, recycling became a necessity. Our disposable society, together with population growth, was filling up landfill sites while environmental regulations simultaneously were making it harder to seek either landfill or incineration options.
The links below list a few of the numerous advantages of recycling.
- By recycling, not only are we allowing our existing landfill sites to remain open longer, but also we are saving space in general. If there are fewer landfills, there will be more land available for farming, housing, parks and natural habitats.
- In 1993 the U.S. reported that its paper recovery strategy saved more than 90 million cubic yards of landfill space.
- Reduce our need to drill for new oil by recycling used motor oil and plastics.
- If recycled glass is substituted for even half the raw materials required, mining waste would be cut by more than 80%.
- Extracting aluminum requires large amounts of electricity to separate the metal from the ore. By recycling it, we save up to 90% of the energy needed to manufacture new aluminum.
- Recycling just one aluminum can will save enough energy to run a television set for three hours.
- In the United States, steel recycling saves enough energy to heat and light 18 million homes for one year.
- It costs 50% to 80% less to construct a paper mill designed to use waste paper rather than new pulp.
- Recycling a ton of resources costs, on average, $30 to recycle, $50 for landfill, and between $65 – $75 to incinerate.
- Schools and other organizations are Using Recycling as a Fund Raiser.
- Many small businesses can find metal recycling lucrative.
- Charities will pick up items at your home, saving you from finding a good home for your unwanted furniture, clothes and other items.
- Recycling councils were formed to establish a network of expertise.
– Recycling facilities and municipal waste management departments require staff.
– Many nonprofit recycling groups such as http://www.greentreetextiles.org/ in Brooklyn, NY, which recycles textiles and old shoes, have emerged.
- Advertisements to educate result in employment for graphic artists, etc.
- The buying, selling or trading of one company’s waste to become another company’s resource requires employees to sort and transport the material.
- One quart of improperly disposed of motor oil can pollute up to 2 million gallons of fresh water.
- Seventeen trees saved by recycling a ton of paper each year can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide. Burning the same amount of paper would create1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
- Landfill sites do not biodegrade; therefore, by reducing the amount destined for landfill, less toxic substances will make their way into our local atmosphere and waterways.
Check out all the things that are recyclable at search.earth911.com/. To help keep our planet healthy for ourselves and future generations, it is imperative to embrace the concept of recycling.
Larraine authors a children’s book series on composting at www.castlecompost.com