Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Two Cents: Recyling Makes Cents

My Two Cents:
Recyling Makes Cents

I know, I for one, throw away a large amount of packaging, whether from groceries or other goods on a weekly basis (and even more over the Christmas holiday)! After having my kids jump on the top of the bags of garbage in my trash can, so as to fit even more trash in over Christmas weekend, I pondered how the recycling process works and how it could benefit my family and my community.
Beyond recycling all my extra newspaper at my children's schools and having my home insulated with recycled newspaper, I wanted to find out where all that packaging goes and how my family and community could benefit from recycling. So, I recently toured the Waste Management recycling facilities in West Jordan, Ut. where they ask consumers to “reverse the way you think about waste”.

“What is waste in reverse?” asks Waste Management. “It is waste given a renewed purpose as a resource. It is a recycled aluminum can that can power a laptop. It is a pear that turns into energy as it biodegrades. Putting the four R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover the resource into action is what Waste Management is all about.” -

Looking Savvy in my hard hat and reflector vest.
As I walked around the facilities I was amazed to see literally tons of trash being sorted for recycling. Bull Dozers scooped material and packaging into specialized state-of-the-art sorting machines carefully watched by the skillful eyes of Waste Management employees. I was surprised to learn that Waste Management recycles up to 100 tons of raw material and packaging daily. Each ton of fiber recycled helps to conserve 17 mature trees, 463 gallons of oil, 24 gallons of gasoline, 7,000 gallons of water and 3.5 cubic yards of landfill space by avoiding their manufacture and disposal! Add that up over a years span and you conserve enough fresh water to meet the daily needs of 2.6 million
Americans and enough fuel to provide heat and cool more than 65,500 homes for one year!

One thing I noticed as I watch the material sorting on the conveyor belts was the plethora of non-recycle products being pulled aside. There were lawn chairs, keyboards, Christmas lights and even full size recliners that had to be discarded as they would bind up the machines and could not be recycled. On a side note - I was a little upset about all the coupon inserts I saw discarded - you're throwing away money people!!! If you're wondering what you can recycle to help reverse the way you think about waste here is a list of do's and don'ts for recycling curbside:

It's just my two cents, but it pays to recycle and it's starts with us. Americans throw away 474,949,019,204 pounds of water a year before recycling. Where there is waste there is opportunity! To find out if recycling programs are available in your community visit and reverse the way you think today!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leelou Blogs, 2011. All Rights Reserved. Blog Design by Leelou Blogs