Everyone knows that recycling is a good thing because it helps reduce our landfills and allows materials to be reused or re-purposed, a definite advantage for the environment. In spite of all benefits, however, many people are still guilty of not recycling as much as we could. Although it may not seem like a big deal if you just throw away a few pop cans instead of recycling them, but all of those small things add up. In fact, the average American throws away 600 times their adult weight in garbage over their lifetime.
And while recycling is a great idea, it is also important to understand that you simply cannot throw everything into the recycling bins. Understanding the rules about what can and cannot be recycled can vary from one waste management company to another. In fact, many waste removal companies have very strict rules and regulations to follow. Consider some of these basic rules and guidelines:
- although many Americans simply think of waste management as taking the trash to the curb closest to their house, the entire waste management industry encompasses as many as 20 different industries.
- Recycling is not only good for the environment, it is also more economical. In fact, it costs an average of $30 a ton to recycle trash, but $50 a ton to send it to a landfill.
- Four pounds is the average amount of trash a single person generates every single day.
- $11.5 billion is spent cleaning up litter every year.
- 87% of Americans have access to drop-off or curbside paper recycling programs.
- Organic materials are the largest component of municipal solid waste (MSW). Divided into more specific categories, yard trimmings and food account for another 28%, while paperboard and paper account for 27%.
- Recycling even a single ton of cardboard saves over nine cubic yards of landfill space.
- Only between 25% and 55% of all waste generated in large cities is collected by municipal authorities, according to the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements.
- The Three R’s of the waste industry are not all created equal. In fact, in their order of reduce, reuse, and recycle, this classification indicates the priorities of the waste management strategies according to their desirability in terms of waste minimization.