Recycling is one of the most important steps an individual can take to help the environment and move towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Yet there are often small mistakes made in the process, as a result of lack of knowledge, that prevent all of these materials from being reused. But worry no more… We’re here to provide some useful tips and facts to ensure you’re making the most of your recycling!
- Why recycle? There are lots of reasons! Recycling saves energy by preventing the need for manufacturers to create something entirely new from raw materials. It also prevents the need to exert natural resources like trees! Recycling also reduces the need for landfills which can further damage the environment and ecosystems that depend on it!
- Every city has its own rules and regulations regarding recycling. For example, Colorado uses single-stream recycling meaning all recyclables go in one bin and are collected and sorted by machines.
- Because of the single-stream system in Colorado and many other states, only around 17% of recycled glass actually gets recycled. The rest gets taken to landfills.
- Glass typically shatters in the processes of collection making it hazardous to the sorting machines. Because of this, it’s better to discard the glass (take it to landfills) than risk a machine blockage, break, or malfunction.
- An estimated 28 billion glass bottles, jars, etc., get tossed out per year never to be recovered again.
- Glass is infinitely recyclable, so if you recycle it independently, it can be reused forever. See where your closest Glass Drop-Off Station is here!
- You typically don’t need to worry about labels or cleaning out glass and other products when recycling them.
- Making glass from recyclable materials can cut water related pollution by up to 50%.
- 14 Billion pounds of trash are dumped into the ocean per year. The leading material being plastic which causes extensive damage to marine life. The best way to reduce plastic waste is to remove it from your life. Replace plastic bags with reusable bags. Replace plastic bottles with glass and commit to reusing your containers.