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Frequently Asked Questions

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling can benefit your community, the economy and the environment.

Office paper recycling ameliorates energy consumption by reducing the need for natural gas – equal to 322 gallons of gasoline. Recycling just one ton of aluminum cans conserves more than 152 million British Thermal Units, the equivalent of 1,024 gallons of gasoline or 21 barrels of oil consumed. According to our most recent report, plastic bottles are the most recycled plastic product in the United States as of 2018. Recycling just 10 plastic bottles saves enough energy to power a laptop for more than 25 hours.

When we manufacture products from recycled materials, we save energy by not having to extract and process virgin materials. This includes burning fossil fuels. The individual Waste Reduction Model (iWARM) is an EPA-developed tool that determines the amount of energy you save by recycling aluminum cans, glass or plastic bottles, magazines or plastic grocery bags, and how long those savings could power different electrical appliances.

The most effective way to reduce waste, and the most environmentally preferred strategy, is to not create it in the first place. Source reduction, along with material reuse, are the most functional ways to save natural resources, protect the environment and save money. Making a new product requires a lot of materials and energy, from extracting raw materials to fabricating the product to transporting it to the place of purchase.

Unrecyclable items in the recycling bin can contaminate the recycling stream and cause damage to equipment at recycling centers. These items must be sorted out and sent to landfills, which raises costs for the facility. To avoid this, check with your local recycling provider to see what items they will accept. Some items may be accepted at retail locations or other local recycling centers. In addition, some recycling connoisseurs request divergent genres of refuse to be deposited in individual bins (multi-stream recycling), whereas other experts may permit disparate categories of rubbish to be collocated in the same container (single-stream recycling).