Reduce, Re-use, Recycle


Recycling is one way we can all help protect our environment. It is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and then turning them into new products.

What are the benefits of recycling?

Recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators, conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals, and prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. Recycling helps sustain the environment for future generations. Well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States are also created.

Why do people choose not to recycle?

Despite all of its benefits, there are some people who just don’t recycle. Statistics indicate one of the reasons is that there is no personal incentive. Unlike pop bottle returns, there’s no financial payout. But the reality is that throwing everything out in the trash creates a hazard to groundwater and causes contamination in landfills. Some people consider recycling to be inconvenient. For others, the environment and global warming are very low on their priority list, so they lack motivation to contribute to green-friendly initiatives. Some believe it is too time consuming and too costly. Sorting recyclable items for the appropriate bins can be confusing. Trying to figure out which types of products and plastics are appropriate for recycling is also puzzling to many people. Understanding schedules for recycling pick-up can also add another layer of confusion.

The truth is that individual product use, pollution, energy use, greenhouse gas contribution and waste habits have significant environmental health implications. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces 4.7 pounds of trash per day and 1,600 pounds per year! The EPA estimates that 75 percent of our trash is reusable or recyclable.

Many people are misinformed about the urgency of the growing waste problem in the United States and its impact on the Earth, but the need for recycling is growing. Are you doing what you can?

What you can recycle

(check your recycling facility’s guidelines)
♦ Aluminum & Metal (tin) Cans
♦ Cardboard Cartons
♦ Clear, brown or green glass containers
♦ Plastic containers with symbol No. 1-7
♦ Printed paper products

What you can’t recycle

♦ Mirror, Window or Auto Glass
♦ Light Bulbs
♦ Ceramics
♦ Coat Hangers
♦ Paint Cans
♦ Styrofoam
♦ Textiles
♦ Hoses
♦ Rope
♦ Wood
♦ Oil or Antifreeze Containers
♦ Yard Waste
♦ Food Waste
♦ Tarps & Tents
♦ Hard-cover Books
♦ Propane Tanks

Donate Items for Re-Use!

In 2014, approximately 8,692 tons of product was donated to Goodwill Industries of Mid-Michigan. About 5,021 tons was sold in retail stores and another 3,527 tons was sold as salvage/recyclables. Only 144 tons (1.5%) was put in the landfill.
Source: Goodwill Industries


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