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What Is Recycling?

Recycling is simply producing a new item from an old item. It is one of the many ways to prevent waste of items and decrease the amount of landfill space we use. Recycling has increased in popularity. Some city ordinances, especially those in California require its citizens to recycle. In some cities, homeless persons recycle products to gain an extra source of income.

What Items are Recyclable?

Most items are recyclable. The most common recyclable items are: paper, cardboard, glass bottles, glass jars, plastic bottles, plastic jars, aluminum cans, tin cans and yard debris.

Some recycling facilities may accept specific recycling items. Immediately after Christmas, many recycling facilities will accept Christmas trees.

Benefits of Recycling

There are many different benefits of recycling. Some of the common benefits of recycling are:

  • Cleaner air
  • Cleaner water
  • Decreases the intensity of global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Decreases amount of hazardous waste
  • Decreases loss of rain forests
  • Decreases amount of endangered species
  • Decreases amount of acid rain
  • Helps protect the ozone layer
  • Saves natural resources
  • Saves energy
  • Saves our environment
  • The energy you save by recycling 1 glass bottle can light a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours.
  • Five 2-liter recycled plastic (PET) soda bottles can provide enough fiberfill for a ski jacket.
  • Recycling 1 aluminum can can save enough energy to operate a TV or computer for 3 hours.

Facts About Paper Recycling ***

Recycling a four-foot stack of newspaper produces as much paper pulp as a 40-foot pine tree. Manufacturing recycled paper produces 55% less air and water pollution than manufacturing paper from virgin wood. Recycling your daily newspaper for one year would provide the pulp equivalent of 2/3 acre of commercial forest. Recycling one ton of newspaper saves 17 pine trees. Every day American businesses generate enough paper to circle the Earth 20 times.

Facts About Recycling Aluminum ***

Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours. Manufacturing cans from recycled aluminum produces 96% less air & water pollution than manufacturing cans from raw material (bauxite).

Facts About Recycling Steel ***

If you stacked all the steel cans that were recycled each year, they would reach from here to the moon and back again more than three times.You could power 18 million American homes with the energy saved by recycling steel each year.

Facts About Recycling Motor Oil ***

Motor oil does not wear out. It simply gets dirty. It can be re-refined and used again and again.

When used motor oil is poured into the ground, it can seep into the groundwater & contaminate drinking water supplies. A single quart of motor oil can pollute 250,000 gallons of water in our rivers and lakes.

***City of Austin, TX website

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