Union County Recycles
Recycling is good for us
Recycling is not complicated. Everybody can recycle. We can make a difference...YOU can make a difference. According to the EPA, recycling rates have jumped from 16% of our garbage in 1990 to 32% in 2005, while disposal of waste to landfills has decreased from 89% to 54% during that same period.
Recycling saves natural resources
Our reserve of natural resources is dwindling rapidly. By the year 2000, Americans were generating 218 million tons of waste annually. Reprocessing used materials to make new products and packaging reduces the consumption of natural resources. Know that plastics are the least efficient recyclables, losing purity and strength with each generation, requiring a constant influx of virgin material. Metals and glass, for instance, can be melted down and reshaped indefinitely, leaving some of us longing for the days when sodas came in glass containers with cash refunds. Paper can have as many as eight "lives" and for cardboard the number seems to be about seven.
Recycling is for beverage containers
We waste (i.e., send to the landfill, incinerate, or litter) five times as many beverage containers as we recycle. Refrain from non-essential plastic use; simply avoid styrofoam and its non-recyclable cronies. The Carbon Conscious Consumer states that "Americans consumed more than 31 billion liters of bottled water in 2006--- nearly 28 gallons for every man, woman, and child.” Manufacturing all of those bottles required 900,000 tons of plastic and emitted as much in greenhouse gas as 500,000 cars! Trucking a bottle of water 500 miles can double its climate impact---and some are shipped much, much farther.
Recycling saves energy
Processing raw materials makes heavy demands on energy resources. Reprocessing used materials reduces energy needs for mining, refining, and many manufacturing processes.
Recycling saves our environment
Recycling reduces environmental damage caused by mining, logging, and manufacturing raw materials. Recycling reduces the risks of air and water pollution from manufacturing processes.
Recycling saves disposal capacity
Recycling and waste reduction save landfill space.
Recycling saves disposal costs
Recycling will not reduce disposal rates, but it will reduce the amount of waste we have to landfill or incinerate.
Recycling is good business
Manufacturers who produce consumer goods and packaging with recycled content are able to reduce their demands for raw materials and energy.
If you're not buying recycled, you're not recycling!
The term recycled, when used to describe products, can be quite confusing and even misleading. Recycled does not mean that a product is made from 100% recovered materials. Recycled simply means that a product contains some recovered materials that might otherwise have been discarded.