Recycling is a win-win for everyone

Last updated: August 26. 2013 10:12AM - 797 Views

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When the Logan County Fiscal Court stepped up and out of its box last year to look into offering curbside recycling, they not only took a leadership roll in the state, they struck a blow against mass environmental pollution.

Living in the “me” generation a lot of people tend to think of the moment, and not necessarily the moments that our grandchildren will be living in when we are gone. By continuing the practice of polluting our earth with trash that can otherwise be kept from the ground, we are continuing to show the generations to follow that taking care of our planet is not important.

Recycling offers so many benefits if people just give it half a chance. Recycling helps extend the life and usefulness of something that has already served its initial purpose by producing something that is useable. Recycling has a lot of benefits and importance not only to us humans, but especially to our planet.

It has become clear that the perceptions regarding recycling are changing. The data and statistics from various government sources reveal that a whopping $20 million could be saved every year if we all adopted the habit of recycling.

Essentially, the profits that most of us continue to reap are the result of those individuals that have decided to get behind the process of recycling.

Recycling assists in lowering the cost of manufacturing new products. Creating new products expends much more energy than using the materials that can be gathered from recycled items. This means that the cost of waste collection, sorting and incineration is still much lower than starting from scratch.

In the United States alone the recycling effort is responsible for almost 1.1 million jobs. And that number is expected to rise since initiatives are in place to assist others in getting behind the recycling movement. Further, recycling is reportedly creating $37 million in salaries annually. Both the private sector and the public sector continue creating more and more jobs in this field.

Participating in the green movement will save 15 trees from being destroyed if we recycle only 1 ton of paper. Does 1 ton sound like a lot? Maybe, but not when you consider that approximately 1.5 million tons of construction products are made each year from paper, including insulation, gypsum wallboard, roofing paper, flooring, padding and sound-absorbing materials. If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year.

In the United States 56 percent of the paper used was recovered for recycling during the last year. This paper when recycled produces almost 74 percent less pollution than making new paper and almost 50 percent less water is required for this purpose. Almost 48 percent of the paper recycled from the offices is again used to produce tissues, raw material used for paperboard and for printing purpose.

The average person generates over four pounds of trash every day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year. Americans produced enough trash to circle the earth 24 times. Over 75 percent of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30 percent of it.

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on your iPod. Recycling 100 cans could light your bedroom for two whole weeks. Recycling aluminum cans saves 95 percent of the energy used to make alum cans from new material. Americans throw away 25,000,000 plastic bottles every hour.

Over 87 percent of Americans have access to curbside or drop-off paper recycling programs.

There are some that balk on the idea of recycling simply because they feel they are being forced to do it in many communities. This is a feeling that takes over any good that can come from an idea. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a little nudge to get the ball rolling. Putting feelings aside and looking at the facts that recycling is making a huge difference in the world is we live in, can actually bring about self-satisfaction. YOU are making that difference.

By recycling, we are making that change. We are making a difference in the world we live in. Yes, it takes a little extra work to rinse out that milk jug, and yes feelings sometimes flare when others tell someone else how to do things, but if we pull together instead of apart, look at what we can accomplish.

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