Uncovering the Truth about Recycling and Waste Management

Although an increasing number of people are recycling, there seems to be some confusion as to what can and cannot be recycled. Unfortunately, this confusion has resulted in contaminated items ending up at recycling centers. If you are interested in recycling or this is something that you already do, the information provided will help clear up any questions that you might have.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that any product with a recycling symbol can automatically go into the recycling bin. This is simply untrue. For whatever reason, some manufacturing companies will slap recycling arrows on materials and packaging even though they are unrecyclable for most local programs. Often, these symbols simply indicate that the packaging can be reused for another purpose as opposed to being recycled.

Another area of confusion has to do with what materials a local recycling program accepts. For clarification, simply contact your local recycling center. The staff will gladly answer any questions that you might have and provide you with a list of all items that the center does and does not accept.

Something else that causes confusion is the number of recycling bins placed curbside. All too often, people will see a street lined with bins and think there is no need for them to recycle. After all, so many others are doing it. The fact is that there is no limitation on how much can and should be recycled. The sad thing is that even with incredible recycling programs, more than 50 percent of materials that people toss out could actually be recycled. This includes aluminum, cardboard, glass, and paper products.

There is also confusion regarding the way that trash is handled in relation to recycling. The misconception is that once trash is hauled off, someone at the other end sorts through it all, pulling out any recyclable items. Of all the myths, this is probably one of the most frustrating. The reality is that what people put in their trash goes to a landfill, period. That means if people want to get involved with this environmentally friendly action, they are responsible for separating recyclable and non-recyclable items. That way, the right items go into the trash versus the recycling bin.

The last misconception worth noting is that some people believe the process of transporting recycled goods used to create new materials actually wastes more energy than it saves. It has been proven that the amount of energy saved through recycling far exceeds the amount of energy used for both the transportation and processing of the items.

Consider things like paper, cardboard, and aluminum cans as an example. The recycling of paper and metal products has the biggest benefit on the environment as far as lifecycle. In addition, the trucks used today for waste management can operate on CNG, which is compressed natural gas. As a result, they promote cleaner air while leaving less of a carbon footprint. The bottom line is that recycling saves energy as opposed to wasting it.

If you are interested in learning more about recycling and waste management, or you have items that you need disposed, please contact our team of experts at 1-800 RID-OF-IT (743-6348).

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