Recycling has always been associated with preserving and protecting the environment, but there are several other tangible benefits of keeping materials out of the landfill. Recycling can contribute to your personal income, help to boost the local economy, and most importantly, preserve and protect our precious land and resources.
Conserve Landfill Space
- In the past few decades, 4 landfills have filled up and closed in Kanawha County. Recycling more waste will slow down this rate and help preserve West Virginia’s natural beauty.
- The average person generates 4.4 pounds of trash every day – about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year.
- Although the EPA estimates that 75 percent of solid waste is recyclable, only about 30 percent is actually recycled.
- Producing recycled white paper creates 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution than producing paper from raw fibers.
- Using recycled cans instead of extracting ore to make aluminum cans produces 95% less air pollution and 97% less water pollution.
- The manufacturing process, including the extraction of raw materials from the earth, releases waste that pollutes the environment.
- When we reduce, reuse and recycle, we reduce the pollution that results from manufacturing the new products.
- We can also minimize pollution from the burning of fuel in power plants that generate energy needed in the manufacturing process.
- Incinerating 10,000 tons of waste creates 1 job.
- Landfilling 10,000 tons of waste creates 6 jobs.
- Recycling 10,000 tons of waste creates 36 jobs.
- In 2012, Americans recycled 62 billion aluminum cans, saving the energy equivalent of 17 million barrels of crude oil.
- This means that recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your television for three hours.
Save Natural Resources
- Protecting West Virginia’s environment and abundance of natural resources is key to preserving them for future generations.
- By making products out of recycled materials, the amount of natural resources being used is reduced.
- For instance, when one ton of glass is recycled, we save these naturally occurring minerals:
- 1.3 tons of sand
- 410 pounds of soda ash
- 380 pounds of limestone
- 51 pounds of feldspar
- Trees combat the greenhouse effect, clean the air, provide oxygen, and help keep cities and streets cool.
- Paper fiber can be recycled 5-7 times before becoming too weak to make new products.
- If every Sunday newspaper were recycled, that alone would save 500,000 trees every week.
- There are several locations in Kanawha County where different metals can be recycled for cash, including WV Cash-In Recycling, RJ Recycling, and Capitol Recycling.
- Many retail locations also offer rebates or coupons for recycling certain materials.
- Terracycle has set up brigades all over the country that allow groups and nonprofits to collect everything from energy bar wrappers to empty scotch tape rolls and turn them in for cash. Terracycle takes this “trash” and uses it to produce a varied line of new products, which includes everything from toys to trash cans.