Any glass contaminated with stones, dirt, and food waste Ceramics, such as dishware, ovenware, and decorative items. Every day in the United States, we throw out about , computers. Learn About Recycling Plastics Remember to keep dirty containers out of your recycling bin.
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They may be mixed with new steel. When you think of the California Gold Rush of the mids, your first thought may not be of canned goods. But it was the need to supply the gold miners with fruit, meat, and vegetables that gave rise to the demand for canned foods.
By the start of the Civil War, around 30 million cans were being produced annually in the United States. Most of us use a paper product every day.
That's because paper products make up about 71 million tons or 29 percent of the municipal waste stream, according to the Environmental Protection Agency EPA. The good news is that more and more Americans are recycling paper. In fact, upwards of 63 percent 45 million tons is recycled annually. When you break that number down by population, roughly pounds of paper is recycled for every person in the United States.
Many of the boxes are themselves made of recycled materials or lumber industry byproducts like sawdust and wood chips. When recycled, cardboard is used to make chipboard like cereal boxes, paperboard, paper towels, tissues and printing or writing paper. It's also made into more corrugated cardboard. Magazines are made from paper that's been buffed and coated to achieve a glossy appearance. Next, the paper is covered with a white clay that makes color photographs look more brilliant.
The shiny appearance does not contaminate the paper at all. About 45 percent of sub-content-3 are being recycled today. Recycling just one ton of paper saves enough energy to power the average American home for six months, so don't be afraid to recycle your old magazines. It's the right thing to do. Some consumers think glossy paper can't be recycled. That may have been true in the early days of recycling, but no longer.
With today's recycling technology, nearly all community recycling programs accept glossy magazines and catalogs for recycling. High-grade papers, such as white computer paper, bond, and letterhead, can be turned back into office paper if it's kept separate from other waste paper. It can also be used to produce tissue paper, paperboard, stationery, magazines and other paper products. Lower-grade papers, such as newsprint, colored paper, file stock and ground wood papers, are made into cardboard, tissues, newspaper and toilet paper.
If your company generates a large amount of waste paper, consider talking to your local recycling company about whether or not you should sort high-grade papers from lower-grade.
The average newspaper today is made of a high amount of recycled fiber. Recycled newspapers can be made into cereal boxes, egg cartons, pencil barrels, grocery bags, tissue paper and many other products, including new newspapers.
Newspaper is a fine insulator. Using recycled newspapers to produce cellulose insulation is widespread. Every year natural disasters destroy countless acres of wilderness. The United States Forest Service uses "hydro-mulching," also called "hydro-seeding," to help restore damaged areas.
It's a planting process that's been practiced in the United States since the s - and it all starts with newspapers. Recycled newspapers are made into a fiber mulch and mixed with grass seed, fertilizer, green dye, and water to create a "slurry" that can be pumped over broad areas by pressure sprayers, airplanes or helicopters. This process is called "hydro-mulching. Highway departments also use it to beautify roadsides by planting wildflower, tree, and shrub seeds.
Once used mainly for products such as breakfast cereal boxes, paperboard is now being used for many other kinds of packaging. Recycled paperboard is made from percent recovered fiber, which may include newspaper, magazines, corrugated boxboard, paperboard folding cartons, and telephone books. Like glossy magazines, recycled paperboard often includes a coating to improve its printing surface and provide protection from fingerprints.
It's still perfectly recyclable. Also called "gable-top cartons,"these are the non-plastic milk and juice cartons you see in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. America consumes enormous quantities of milk and juice, requiring tremendous outlays of energy to produce, ship and landfill the cartons. Only a fraction of these are recycled. Waste Management, Tropicana Products, Dean Foods and select carton manufacturers have launched a program in which residents can recycle these containers in regular recycling bins at no additional charge.
This program began in Florida and has been expanded to communities across the country. Poly-coated paperboard containers undergo a process known as "hydro-pulping. The polyethylene is used in furniture, to generate energy, or reduced even further into paraffin, which "blends" the cartons so the non-paper and paper layers separate. The recovered paper fibers can be recycled into items such as tissue and paper towels. Sometimes dairy and juice cartons are recycled as "mixed paper," a process that does not use hydro-pulping but instead follows the regular paper-making process.
You may think of it as "junk mail," or you may welcome the flyers, catalogs, and coupons that appear in your mailbox. Either way, it's important to recycle them. While Americans are recycling more paper each year, our recycle rate for direct mail remains low. According to the U. Environmental Protection Agency, direct mail accounts for 2. Many advertisers are now placing a "Recycle Please" reminder on the direct mail pieces they create. Every year, new phone books and business directories arrive at your door.
Are you careful to recycle your old ones? There are enough phone books created each year to measure , miles when lined up end to end. This means they would circle around the earth about 4. By recycling just books, we could save between 17 and 31 trees, 7, gallons of water, gallons of oil, pounds of air pollution, 3. In many places, you can simply drop the phone book into your recycling bin and leave it curbside for pickup.
Call your municipality for more information. Some glass cannot be made into other products, or doing so is not economically feasible. Find out more about the types of glass and how they are recycled below. Marketing professionals often prefer clear glass containers because they make the product inside visible.
However, clear glass may cause some products to degrade because of light exposure. Clear glass is sometimes used for beverages. More often, it's used to package solids or thick liquids, such as pasta sauce, that may not be sensitive to light. The "brown" in the glass cannot be removed.
Thus, brown bottles can be used only to make other brown bottles. Brown glass protects the container's contents from direct sunlight, thus preserving freshness and flavor. Green glass comes in a variety of shades.
The "green" cannot be removed. Thus, green bottles can be used only to make other green bottles. Green glass helps keep sunlight and temperature from affecting the contents, which explains why it is often used in the manufacture of wine bottles. Some curbside programs and recycling centers take only certain colors of glass. That's because manufacturers who buy the glass have to maintain the integrity of the color when producing new glass.
The glass is taken to a manufacturing or recycling plant where it is broken up into smaller pieces known as "cullet. When glass is produced from virgin materials, it requires high temperatures to melt and combine all the ingredients.
Since cullet melts at a lower temperature, the more of it you add to a batch of raw materials, the less energy needed to melt it. Ceramics such as coffee cups and plates present a problem in the glass-making process because they can weaken the glass.
Even a small amount of ceramics can contaminate a whole batch of glass and cost the glassmaker millions of dollars. Did you know that every year we produce enough plastic film in this country to shrink-wrap Texas? Or that although Americans recycle more than 2. While plastic offers the advantages of being flexible and lightweight, it also consumes fossil resources for its manufacture and contributes waste in our environment.
Does that plastic lunch container still have yesterday's pizza in it? Don't recycle it until it's clean! One dirty product, or one with food waste still in it, can contaminate an entire bale, containing thousands of pounds of collected plastics.
Plastics come in a variety of shapes, colors and chemical formulations - all with different recycling needs. The code number does not mean the plastic can be recycled. It is simply a way to identify the resin, or plastic type. How can you tell what kinds of plastic to put into your recycling bin? The code number on the bottom of your product is not a reliable indicator of whether something can get recycled.
Remember to keep dirty containers out of your recycling bin. One partially empty soda bottle in a bale of plastic can spoil the whole load. Plastic grocery and produce sacks are commonly placed in recycle bins.
These bags can shut down an entire recycling plant and should be kept out of our recycling bin. Plastic bags are often collected in barrels at grocery stores, and usually end up as plastic lumber. PET plastic is the most common material used for single-use bottled beverages, because it is inexpensive, lightweight, unbreakable and easy to recycle.
It takes more than 1. That's enough oil to fuel , cars for a year. Unwanted batteries and bulbs should never be mixed with other recyclables, but many are easy to recycle through other options. Check below for information on discarding car batteries, household and button batteries, incandescent light bulbs, and new CFLs compact fluorescent lights. However, CFLs contain mercury, which can be harmful to humans and the environment if not disposed of properly.
Most of it is reused over and over again in new batteries. Your battery probably contains about three pounds of plastic, which can be reclaimed to create new batteries and other products. The sulfuric acid can be recycled and used in new batteries. It can also be converted to sodium sulfate to create fertilizer, dyes and other products. It can even be neutralized, purified, tested, and eventually released as clean water. If you're using more than about a dozen disposable batteries in a year, you could save money by switching to rechargeables.
If you still have old batteries on hand that may have been manufactured before , it's likely they contain mercury. Contact your municipality for information on how to safely recycle them or go here. Button batteries often contain silver, zinc, or other toxins and should be recycled. Check with your municipality or go here. Hundreds of products - everything from laptops, PDAs, hair dryers, and cordless tools - are powered by rechargeable batteries.
Batteries are usually either nickel-cadmium nicad , lithium ion, or nickel-metal-hydride NiMH. All should be recycled to reclaim valuable compounds and to keep toxins out of the environment. To learn more, visit ThinkGreenFromHome. Incandescent bulbs are inefficient, because the light they produce is simply a by-product of the heat they generate.
Another lighting option is the light-emitting diode lamp LED , which uses a series of tiny electronic light bulbs that, when placed next to each other, emit as much or much more light than a similar-size standard light bulb. The LED does not burn out all at once, and it uses only a fraction of the electricity of an incandescent. Incandescent light bulbs will be phased out of the U.
More and more Americans are saving on energy bills by using CFL bulbs instead of incandescents. But what should you do with the bulbs after they burn out? CFL bulbs contain small amounts of mercury. If the CFL bulb breaks before it's properly recycled, people can be exposed to this harmful metal.
A spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency says that even though fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, using them contributes less mercury to the environment than using regular incandescent bulbs.
That's because they use less electricity - and coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of mercury emissions in the air.
According to the federal government, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star-approved CFL, the United States would save enough energy to light more than 2. Recycling programs at the stores that sell CFLs are still relatively uncommon, although that is gradually changing.
Click Here to find a Waste Management electronics drop-off center, or check Earth Electronics that are obsolete, broken, and destined for recycling or disposal are sometimes called "e-waste".
There are many chemical and mineral elements in e-waste. A circuit board contains copper, gold, silver, platinum and palladium, as well as lead. If recycled properly, this waste is a valuable source of secondary raw materials. Waste Management is committed to providing environmentally responsible solutions for handling electronics waste. This is but a continuation of the E-Steward's Pledge, which we continue to operate by today. By announcing that pledge, Waste Management committed to a set of accepted practices that helps protect the environment, as well as workers' health and safety, during the handling of e-waste.
Each week, skateboard factories create enough waste to fill a city bus—so Grove and Maple xo collaborated to make these iPhone backs out of the discarded post-industrial skateboard material.
The backs are each milled and finished by hand, so no two are alike; they attach to the back of the phone with a 3M adhesive. Dakine has other packs , duffle bags , totes , iPad bags , and carry ons made from the material, too, for both men and women. Vinylux finds new use for old vinyl records by turning them into functional bowls. The bowls are molded into shape over custom-made forms, the label is laminated, and the spindle hole is sealed with clear tape.
If you find bowls boring, the company also makes clocks, ornaments, sketchbooks, bookends, and mirrors. No part of the record is wasted; the paper is collected and recycled, and the vinyl scraps are sent to a plant in Nashville, where they're recycled and turned into brand new records. Each opener has a number, which can be plugged into a database to find out which game the bat was played in.
The color is already in the scraps, so less dyes and chemicals are used in the process of repurposing the materials into new yarn. These bikes are handmade in Portland, Oregon, from recycled aluminum.
The seats are made of renewable cork, and they use belts instead of chains because belts require less maintenance. Though it's not quite there yet, the company hopes to one day have the bikes made of entirely recycled materials. These super cute, kind of retro toys are made out of recycled plastic milk jugs.