#5 Facts You May Not Have Known About Recycling

Happy Global Recycling Day (3/18)! The Ecology Center was founded in 1969 by community members and grassroots activists to provide curbside recycling services to the residents of Berkeley to help divert waste from landfills. As one of the first successful curbside recycling programs in the country, the Ecology Center has helped inspire the creation and establishment of curbside recycling programs and ecology centers across the country. We are proud to serve residents of Berkeley and hope to continue educating the community at large about sustainable living and how we can best work towards zero waste to protect the health of our land, waters, and communities. To celebrate, here are 5 Facts You May Not Have Known About Recycling.

1. Recycling creates over 50 times as many jobs as landfills and incinerators.
GAIA reports that not only does recycling create more jobs compared to landfills and incinerators but zero waste systems also offer more desirable employment opportunities, offering jobs that tend to utilize skills beyond basic manual labor, providing higher wages, and more permanent positions, thus improving overall quality of life.

 

2. Plastic bottles can take an estimated 700 years to start to break down
Purchasing a reusable water bottle, such as these, can reduce your carbon footprint by reducing energy, water, and oil consumption.

 

3. It can take up to 1 million years for a glass bottle to break down in a landfill
Recycling glass is cheaper and 33% more energy efficient than creating new glass. Currently, the world is facing a global sand shortage. By recycling glass, we are able to reduce our consumption of this precious resource.

4. It can take  up to 80-100 years for aluminum to break down in a landfill
Recycling aluminum eliminates the need to mine more ore to produce aluminum, which saves both energy and resources. Aluminum can be recycled an infinite amount of times. It is estimated that ⅔ of aluminum ever produced is still in use today.

“Behold thy Landfill” © 2010 Justin Ritchie

5. To date, 6 billion bottles and cans have ended up in landfills – that’s worth more than $100 million dollars in CRV value!
By giving monetary value to the recycling of a container, CRV decreases the likelihood that it will be littered. CRV also increases the likelihood that littered items will be picked up and recycled instead of ending up in our landfills and waterways

 

Sources:

GAIA Report, Zero Waste and Economic Recovery: The Job Creation Potential of Zero Waste Solutions
Cal Recycle, Just The Facts
Laguna Hills Recycling Facts
How Stuff Works, What One Thing Should I Recycle?
Californians Against Waste, Benefits of California’s Bottle Bill
American Chemical Society, Aluminum Recycling


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