Recycling is a process where used materials (such as aluminum cans) are made into new products. Here are the top reasons why we should recycle, followed by two interesting recycling facts and some simple ways to recycle goods.
- Much more energy efficient than creating new products from scratch. Therefore, it saves money and reduces the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
- Reduces the amount of waste in landfills. Landfills release many toxic gases (as well as some greenhouse gases- especially methane) as products break down. Therefore, recycling decreases the amount of toxic gases released into the atmosphere each year.
- Protects our natural resources. If aluminum cans are recycled, less aluminum needs to be mined from the earth.
- It’s easy! It doesn’t take very long to sort out the recyclables from the non-recyclables.
- It doesn’t cost you anything.
- Creates more jobs for people in your community.
- It’s very efficient. One cardboard milk carton can make five pieces of office paper.
Two Quick Facts about Recycling
- The demand for recycled products is, unforunately, quite low. It is estimated that it costs US$50 to process one ton of recycled materials which can only be sold for US$30. This is why governments must subsidise recycling programs.
- 90% of batteries are recycled in the United States. New batteries are made up of about 80% recycled material.
Simple Ways to Recycle Goods
- Don’t throw old clothes away! Give them to charities or people who want them!
- Try composting kitchen and garden materials.
- Reuse plastic and glass bottles. Just wash them out with water first!
- Forget notepads, just use old pieces of paper (write on the other side).
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