What is recycling?
Recycling means taking materials from products you have finished using
and making brand new products with them. For example, most of the
aluminum cans in the United States are made with recycled aluminum. So
if you drink juice or soda from a can, recycle that can instead of
throwing it in the trash. That can will stay in the Recycling Loop and
out of the landfill.
Why should I recycle?
Making new things from recycled ones takes less money, less energy, and
less of the Earth’s resources. Because less energy is used, factories
don’t release as much pollution either.
Everyone can recycle. You can recycle at home and at school. Your
parents and other adults can recycle at work, and so can the companies
they work for.
How does recycling work?
Recycling starts with people separating recyclable materials from their
other trash. The separated recyclable materials are collected by
recycling programs, processed and then sold to manufacturers for use in
What are recyclable materials?
Aluminum and steel cans, cardboard, glass, newspapers and plastic
bottles are all recyclable. These items can be made into new products
including cans that hold food and drinks, the steel used to build
skyscrapers and school buses, cardboard boxes, glass jars and bottles,
newspaper and office paper, plastic laundry detergent bottles and even
Also, food scraps from home or cafeterias at school can be separated
rather than put in the trash. The scraps can then be turned back into
nutrients that help plants grow through a process called composting,
which accelerates the natural decay process. Yard waste, such as grass
clippings, leaves and small tree limbs, can be converted through
composting into mulch to help gardens grow.
How can I reduce the amount of trash I generate?
The best way to reduce the amount of trash you generate is to be a
careful shopper. Don’t buy more than you need, especially if the
product can go bad over time.
As a consumer, you have purchasing power. As more and more people buy
products that are reusable, refillable or concentrated, manufacturers
will take notice and produce more of these Earth friendly products.
Other ways to reduce your trash output
• Buy products in bulk or larger containers rather than multiple small containers.
• Use a sponge rather than disposable towels.
• Buy concentrates.
• Buy fresh fruits and vegetables without packaging.
• Avoid products with excessive packaging.
• Repair, rather than replace, broken items.
• Donate unwanted materials to charity.
Careful with that! Handling hazardous wastes
Some types of trash are dangerous and need to be disposed of in special
ways. Old paints, pesticides, pool chemicals, cleaning chemicals,
fluorescent lamps, mercury thermometers, batteries and electronic
equipment can contaminate our lands, water and air if they are placed
in the regular trash stream, or worse yet, poured down the drain or
The best way to manage these household hazardous wastes is to avoid
creating them. Pick the least dangerous product to do the job, and then
buy only as much as you need. If you have extra, try to give it to
someone who needs it. If you have to dispose of hazardous waste, check
with your town or county to see if there is a local household hazardous
waste collection program.
It’s up to you to protect the environment!
Keeping our planet clean and safe is everyone’s duty. If you make a
habit of reducing, reusing and recycling, you can make the world a
better place. So, go for it! Protect our planet today and everyday.
Benefits of Recycling
• Recycling creates jobs
• Recycling reduces the need for landfills and incineration of
• Recycling reduces the pollution caused by making products
from virgin materials
• Recycling saves energy
• Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that
contribute to climate change
• Recycling conserves the natural resources such as timber,
water and minerals
• By conserving resources today, recycling ensures there will
be plenty left for future generations
DID YOU KNOW...?
When an aluminum can is thrown away, it will be a can for about 500 years
If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save 250 000 000 trees a year
When you recycle one glass bottle, enough energy is saved to power a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours
More than 20 000 000 Hershey"s Kisses are wrapped each day, and most people don"t realize that all that tinfoil is recyclable
Top 10 Ways to Help the Environment
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
2. Use less heat and air conditioning
3. Change a lightbulb to one that doesn"t use as much energy
4. Drive less
5. Buy energy-efficient products
6. Use less hot water
7. Turn off your lights
8. Plant a tree
9. Get informed about what you can do
10. Encourage others to conserve energy