5 Terrible Things That Happen When You Don’t Recycle

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, America produces over 258 million tons of waste every year ― which is close to a ton of trash per American citizen. The EPA believes as much as 75 percent of that waste to be recyclable or reusable, but instead of properly disposing of unwanted goods, many Americans choose to carelessly toss anything and everything into the garbage can. The results of this behavior are quickly becoming disastrous, impacting not only natural environments but also urban areas and human livelihoods. Here are a few ways failing to recycle negatively impacts the world around us.

1. Landfill Growth
Nearly all of America’s trash goes into landfills, which are essentially gigantic midden heaps that are eventually covered with soil and potentially used for urban development. The positive idea behind landfills is that trash will eventually decompose and settle, turning into fertile land. The problem is that much of our waste is not biodegradable; plastics require between 10 and 1,000 years to begin breaking down, and even then, the chemicals used in them can leach into groundwater and destroy surrounding environments.


2. Marine Pollution

Not all garbage is safely tucked into a landfill. At least 10 percent of all plastics created have found their way into the oceans, creating enormous gyres where the non-biodegradable waste is more plentiful than plankton. Most of the pollution comes from poor waste management on land, but some is dumped by unscrupulous ocean liners. The plastics wreak havoc on marine environments, as animals ingest or become entangled in the waste.

3. Incineration

For many, burning trash seems a viable solution to land and water pollution. However, incineration might be even more disastrous than landfills. For one, many products and packaging materials are made using toxic chemicals that are released into the air during the burning process. For another, glass as well as many plastics do not burn except at exceedingly high temperatures, which requires excessive amounts of fuel ― which itself releases dangerous emissions. Studies have found that air pollution causes all sorts of terrible diseases, from chronic asthma and cancer to birth defects.

4. Resource Waste

It isn’t just the items or materials themselves that are wasted when you throw something away; all the effort and energy used to create those items are also squandered. Between 2.5 and 4 percent of U.S. energy consumption is devoted to the manufacturing of plastic and plastic products; what’s more, at least 24 gallons of water is used to create just one pound of plastic, and about 2.5 million plastic bottles are produced every hour. Those resources could be diverted to more beneficial endeavors if everyone recycled more.

5. Economic Trouble

Though it might seem an economic advantage to create disposable goods that must be repurchased, pollution actually hinders economic advancement in notable ways. For example, many beaches experience lower tourism because the sand and water is covered in trash; fishing and shipping industries have reportedly suffered losses of $365 million and $279 million thanks to debris-clogged waterways. Less trash is almost synonymous with more profit for much of the economy.

How to Reduce Trash the Right Way

Though some waste is inevitable, it is possible to drastically reduce the amount of trash you personally produce. For example, one woman committed to a minimal-plastic lifestyle and managed to produce less than 16 ounces of waste over a two-year period. Not everyone has the luxury of avoiding plastic and packaging so thoroughly, but there are a number of effective ways you can increase your recycling efforts.

• First, you should strive to reduce the amount of purchases you make. This doesn’t necessarily mean becoming minimalist; instead, you should merely consider investing in a few well-designed and manufactured products rather than many cheap and disposable ones.

• Next, you should research what objects around your home can be reused. In fact, most things can find new life, and many charities gladly pick up or take in items you don’t want to sell. Some of these items will directly improve the lives of the needy, but others, especially valuables like digital devices on up to larger items like broken-down cars or boats, can be refurbished and sold for funds to benefit charities.

• Finally, you should learn more about recycling services in your area. Not all cities have the resources to recycle all types of materials. Instead of tossing any paper, plastic, or glass good in the recycling bin, you might need to find facilities designed to recycle specific goods. Items that are improperly recycled are likely to end up as pollution.

The E-Waste Problem and How to Help created by Digital Doc
Advertisements

Did you know Ford recycles enough aluminum to build 30,000 F-150 bodies every month?

Did you know that the toughest, smartest, most capable and safest F-150 ever is also the greenest F-150 – thanks to advanced materials like high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy and EcoBoost® engine technology?

Ford recycles as much as 20 million pounds of aluminum stamping scrap per month using the closed-loop system at Dearborn Truck Plant, which builds F-150. That is the equivalent of more than 30,000 F-150 bodies in the largest configuration – a SuperCrew body including doors, plus hood, tailgate and 6.5-foot cargo box.

 
image

Opting for aluminum over steel in new automobile construction is the best way to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, according to Oak Ridge National Lab.

Recycled aluminum avoids 95 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with primary aluminum production. It uses significantly less energy and water – another reason Ford F-150 leads the full-size truck pack in terms of lifetime carbon footprint, according to Automotive Science Group.         

Weight savings from aluminum alloy helps F-150 reduce its lifetime emissions compared to the previous steel-body version. Between 30 percent and 40 percent of a typical aluminum coil is turned into scrap in the stamping process. This is recycled into new metal for the truck using the closed-loop system.
image

When equipped with the available 2.7-liter EcoBoost with standard Auto Start-Stop technology, F-150 4×2 has best-in-class EPA-estimated gasoline fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined (actual mileage will vary). The Green Living Guy got better than that in test drive. Stay tuned for test drive results folks!

F-150 SuperCrew and SuperCab with available collision warning are the only trucks in their class to earn a Top Safety Pick from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. F-150 also is the only full-size, light-duty truck to earn National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s highest rating, a five-star overall vehicle score and five-star rating for driver and passenger for all crash test modes and cab configurations – SuperCrew, SuperCab and Regular Cab.

Check out Instagram.com/Ford – Earth Day – to see the closed-loop recycling process in action.

Conscious Collection and Garment Collecting by H&M Clothing

H&M is the first fashion company to launch a global garment collection initiative. Today, you can hand in any clothes you no longer want. That way, we can reduce waste and give old products a new life. Eventually, we’ll close the loop on textiles so nothing ever goes to waste.

 Effluent treatment plant. Water plays an important role throughout the life of a garment; from growing cotton to making fabrics and finally how our customers take care of their garments after they leave the store. But water is a scarce resource. This is why H&M, together with conservation organisation WWF, has set a water strategy to improve responsible water use throughout the value chain. Our goal is becoming the fashion industry’s leading water steward. Copyright: GMB Akash
Description: Effluent treatment plant. Water plays an important role throughout the life of a garment; from growing cotton to making fabrics and finally how our customers take care of their garments after they leave the store. But water is a scarce resource. This is why H&M, together with conservation organisation WWF, has set a water strategy to improve responsible water use throughout the value chain. Our goal is becoming the fashion industry’s leading water steward. Copyright: GMB Akash

 

Of the thousands of tonnes of textiles thrown away every year, 95% could be re-worn or recycled.

We’re committed to changing the way we make, use and dispose of our clothes. Of the thousands of tonnes of textiles that people throw away every year, as much as 95% could be re-worn or recycled.
 We’re committed to changing the way we make, use and dispose of our clothes. Of the thousands of tonnes of textiles that people throw away every year, as much as 95% could be re-worn or recycled.

There are some exciting new materials that will have an important role to play in achieving this change. That’s because many of them use fewer resources to make, and last for a really long time. But there’s also a lot we can do to improve our current system.

Don’t let fashion go to waste

No true fashion lover likes seeing clothes go to waste. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to give your garments a new life. For example, we’ve already made some new collections from worn clothes – many of which came via our own Garment Collecting service.

Looking ahead, there are three ways to repurpose the unwanted garments:

  • Rewear – clothing that can be worn again will be sold as second hand clothes
  • Reuse – old clothes and textiles will be turned into other products, such as cleaning cloths
  • Recycle – everything else is turned into textile fibres, or other use such as insulation.

We’ll invest any money we make from this service into social projects, as well as research and innovation projects on how old textiles can be turned into new fibres. Which means in the future we’ll be able to get rid of clothes waste altogether.

Commonly used UI components on HM about and career sites.

Source: Garment collecting

Plastics Aren’t Going Away Just Yet so Recycle for Earth Day

Although plastic bag bans are spreading throughout the country, more manufacturers are switching to producing plastic pouches – meaning plastic will remain a part of everyday American life. But – there’s a solution.

In fact, Trex decking and railing products are made up of 16 percent post-consumer plastics – and there is potential for that number to considerably increase with help from consumers.

Trex Outdoor Furniture (included in images) is manufactured from more than 90 percent recycled content and is durable, weather-resistant and low maintenance.
Trex Outdoor Furniture (included in images) is manufactured from more than 90 percent recycled content and is durable, weather-resistant and low maintenance.

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, Trex encourages everyone to become an active polyethylene recycler and help raise awareness about the importance of keeping plastic out of landfills. For information on how to get involved locally and learn about successful Trex recycling programs nationwide, visit http://www.trex.com/recycling/.

What Do Americans Think About Recycling

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is preached by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and there are countless recycling programs held across the country, but few people actually recycle, a new survey has shown. The online survey questioned 500 people, mostly between the ages of 18 and 34, to know their views on recycling. The verdict is out- Not even half of those questioned said they recycled while only about 30 percent said they encouraged others in their community to recycle.

image

What else do people think about recycling?

Here’s what the survey found out.
36 Percent Think Recycling Is Good
Do you think it’s good to recycle? The majority of those polled don’t! Recycling is great for the environment. Recycling benefits range from energy conservation to waste reduction, reports the EPA.

Recycling has even led to the creation of employment in the recycling and manufacturing industry. One such innovative startup is Isidore Electronics Recycling which employs ex-cons to recycle e-waste, giving them an opportunity to break away from the prison system, reports Forbes.

38 Percent Find Recycling Easy To Do
Most of the respondents said recycling is not very practical. But with several organizations like the National Recycling Coalition, Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and Earth911 providing resources and ideas, recycling has never been easier! From curbside recycling programs to community recycling initiatives, recycling is no longer inaccessible- the blog DoSomething.org reports than over 87 percent of Americans have access to paper recycling programs. Not only is paper and plastic easy to recycle, but metal and electronics too. And you can earn money by selling scrap metal!

Recycling facilities run by organizations like SIMS Metal Management buy scrap metal and unused electronics which are then properly recycled. Sims is located in several cities across the United States from Redwood City, CA to Richmond, VA.

38 Percent Said They Recycle
Over 60 percent of people in the survey said they don’t recycle which shows that there’s a lack of awareness about recycling and a definite need to get more people to recycle. In a study conducted by the University of Alberta, psychology is a lot to blame for people not recycling- there’s a need to change people’s perception of usefulness! To know what items can be recycled; here’s a list of common recyclable materials that you should not throw away after use. Let’s work towards reducing waste- almost everything can be recycled!

25 Percent Said They Would Recycle More If They Were Told That Recycling Was Good For The Economy
Only 1 in 4 respondents said they would recycle for the growth of the economy, but more people need to be aware of the economic benefits to the country that recycling brings. Recycling is great for the economy, a study released by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) shows.

The ISRI study shows that the recycling industry generated revenue worth almost $90 million and provided nearly 500,000 jobs in the country. Economic benefits of recycling are also followed by the social and environmental benefits that can impact a country’s economy. Recycling promotes sustainable use of resources and community development, says the EPA on the economic benefits of recycling.

31 Percent Said They Motivate Others In Their Community To Recycle
Most of those polled said they are not very enthusiastic about motivating others to recycle. But community recycling drives can be a great way to protect the environment and have fun. It can also be a great way of contributing towards a healthy community, says the EPA on how recycling can lead to community development.

There are many things you can do to get others in your community to recycle. From organizing cleanup drives on Earth Day (April 22) to asking people to donate old books, toys, furniture etc. to charity, here are some ideas on what you can do in your community (http://www.epa.gov/).

According to the 2011 statistics from the EPA, the national recycling rate stands at 34.7 percent. Much of the waste generated ends up as toxic waste in landfills and incinerators.

Regular recyclers, you need to recycle more and get others in your neighborhood to start recycling for a cleaner, greener planet.