The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable, but we’re only recycling about 30% of it. By 2030, the amount of household waste will almost double to 3,000 million tons annually…unless each of us do our part.
The problem isn’t just about maxxing out our landfills. According to the EPA, recycling conserves energy and natural resources. Here are a few examples from a recent report:
- Recycling one ton of office paper can save the energy equivalent of consuming 322 gallons of gasoline.
- Recycling just one ton of aluminum cans conserves more than 152 million Btu, the equivalent of 1,024 gallons of gasoline.
- Reycling just 10 plastic bottles saves enough energy to power a laptop for more than 25 hours.
You probably have curbside recycling bins for things like plastic and glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans, cardboard, newspaper, and food boxes. But what do you do with things that aren’t supposed to go in a curbside recycling bin such as garden hoses, aerosol cans, and propane tanks?
Check out the answers to these Frequently Asked Questions. On this page, you’ll also find links that connect you with local sites where you can correctly dispose of things like household hazardous waste.
Learn more about how to get rid of trash responsibly in this slide show below courtesy of 1-866-JUNK-ITT.com
Of course, the very best thing you can do to reduce waste is to think twice about what you buy so that you have less to get rid of. Here are some ideas for you:
- Look for and choose to buy products with minimal packaging or refillable containers.
- Bring re-usable bags with you to the supermarket.
- Donate used clothing, shoes, furnishings, and household items.
- Swap partially used, unwanted hair and beauty products with friends. Do the same with cleaning products.
- Re-use items that are re-usable.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of America Recycles Day. What one thing can you do today to demonstrate your commitment to recycling?