Benefits of Recycling

Benefits in recycling Paper

Benefits in recycling Metals

Metal Recycling Conserves Natural Resources

Metal recycling also conserves natural resources. Recycling one ton of steel conserves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone. Recyling a ton of aluminum conserves up to 8 tons of bauxite ore and 14 megawatt hours of electricity.

Recycling steel and tin cans saves 74% of the energy used to produce them from raw materials. At least 70-80% of the tin on a can is saved when you recycle it. This cuts down mining waste and preserves a valuable ere source. Americans use 100 million tin and steel cans every day. Every minute of the day, more than 9,000 tin cans are recovered from the trash with magnets. The average American throws out about 61 lbs. of tin cans every month. (Source: EarthWorks Group's- The Recycler's Handbook)


Benefits in recycling plastic

The bad:

As an example of how and why plastic waste is increasing, the Beverage Marketing Corporation reports that the average American consumed 28.3 gallons of bottled water in 2006, up from 1.6 gallons in 1976. The United States is the world's leading consumer of bottled water: Americans buy 28 billion bottles of water annually, and 70 to 80 percent of those bottles end up in landfills.

The Benefits:

Recycling plastics reduces the amount of energy and natural resources (such as water, petroleum and natural) needed to create virgin plastic. According to the American Plastics Council, the production of plastics accounts for 4 percent of U.S. energy consumption, and 70 percent of plastics in the United States are made from domestic natural gas.

Recycling plastic products also keeps them out of landfills and allows the plastics to be reused in manufacturing new products. Recycling one ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space. Recycling plastics has never been easier. Today, 80 percent of Americans have easy access to a plastics recycling program, whether they participate in a municipal curbside program or live near a drop-off site.

Overall, plastics recycling is still relatively low. In 2008, only about 6.8 percent of plastics in the municipal solid waste stream were recycled—about 2.1 million tons of the 30 tons of plastic waste generated that year.

Benefits in recycling Glass

By contrast, it takes as little as 30 days for a recycled glass bottle to leave your kitchen recycling bin and appear on a store shelf as a new glass container. Glass containers are 100-percent recyclable, which means they can be recycled repeatedly, again and again, with no loss of purity or quality in the glass.

Recovered glass from glass recycling is the primary ingredient in all new glass containers. A typical glass container is made of as much as 70 percent recycled glass. According to industry estimates, 80 percent of all recycled glass eventually ends up as new glass containers.

Every ton of glass that is recycled saves more than a ton of the raw materials needed to create new glass, including: 1,300 pounds of sand; 410 pounds of soda ash; and 380 pounds of limestone. Making new glass means heating sand and other substances to a temperature of 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit, which requires a lot of energy and creates a lot of industrial pollution. One of the first steps in glass recycling is to crush the glass and create a product called “cullet.” Making recycled glass products from cullet consumes 40 percent less energy than making new glass from raw materials, because cullet melts at a much lower temperature.

Because glass is made from natural materials such as sand and limestone, it glass containers have a low rate of chemical interaction with their contents. As a result, glass can be safely reused. Besides serving as the primary ingredient in new glass containers, recycled glass also has many other commercial uses—from creating decorative tiles and landscaping material to rebuilding eroded beaches.

As I pointed out at the beginning of this article, glass recycling is simple. It’s simple, because glass is one of the easiest materials to recycle. For one thing, glass is accepted by almost all curbside recycling programs and municipal recycling centers. About all most people have to do to recycle glass bottles and jars is to carry their recycling bin to the curb, or maybe drop off their empty glass containers at a nearby collection point.

If you need an extra incentive to recycle glass, how about this: Several U.S. states offer cash refunds for most glass bottles, so in some areas glass recycling can actually put a little extra money in your pocket.

Benefits in recycling Electronics

The bad:

The speed with which consumers use and replace electronic devices is staggering.

In the U.S., in 2009 alone, discarded electronics like TVs, computers and computer peripherals comprised approximately 2.37 tons of waste. Of that amount, about 1.7 million tons were destined for landfills.

Computer infrastructure also contains valuable metals such as gold, copper and platinum. Throwing away computers forces manufacturers to expend energy and resources to find raw materials for new products. Mining for precious metals, creation of engineered plastics and the manufacture of brand new components all consume energy and expel greenhouse gases into the environment, hastening the effects of climate change.


Conserves natural resources -
Valuable material can be recovered from old electronics, and these materials can be used to make new products. For example, precious metals are used in computer circuit boards and other electronic components, and of course glass and plastics are used for tv and computer monitors. Recycling these products reduces the need to mine the Earth for new raw materials.

Supports the community -
Donating your old electronics supports schools, low-income families, and non-profit agencies by providing them with refurbished computers, cell phones, and other electronics. Individuals are helped by being able to access technology that they could not otherwise afford. Check with these groups first to make sure your equipment meets their needs.

Creates jobs locally –
As demand for electronics recycling grows, new businesses will be forming and existing companies will be looking to hire more people to staff their facilities to recover recyclable materials (more than 90% of electronic equipment is recycleable!).

Protect Public Health and the Environment -
Most electronics contain hazardous or toxic materials which can cause an environmental problem if discarded in the trash. Safely recycling and reusing electronics helps substances like lead and mercury from harming people or the environment.