What is Recycling? Recycling is the process of converting waste into a reusable material. Recycling can also apply to reusing items without changing their structure.
What Can be Recycled? Paper Plastic Metal Clothing Electronics
The Water Bottle Effect The average American consumes 167 bottles of water each year. 30 billion bottles are littered or end up in landfills each year, taking up to 1,000 years to decompose. Enough oil is consumed creating bottles each year to fuel 100,000 cars.
Plastic Shopping Bags Shopping bags are one of the easiest items to recycle, and one of the most commonly used. These bags take up 1,000 years tobiodegrade naturally. Only about 1% of all plastic bags ever get recycled. Although bags break down into smaller pieces, they’re not biodegrading. They are photo- degrading, which means they simply break into smaller pieces which easily absorb even more toxins than they started with.
On average, there are 46,000 pieces of plastic from bags floating on every square mile of ocean in the world.
Landfills Earth has two man made structures that can be seen from space: The Great Wall of China, and the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island. Approximately 200 million tons of trash end up in landfills each year.
Where to Recycle Recycling bins can be found outside of most major stores. Grocery stores will typically have containers for used plastic bags outside the door as well. Aluminum and other metals can be taken to recycling centers located within most cities.
Reusing and Repurposing Old cd’s can be reused as coasters. Refilling water bottles saves both money and plastic, and lowers energy consumption. Old clothes should be donated rather than thrown away, as long as they’re in good condition. Food cans and jars can be cleaned and reused as containers for holding small objects.