In our last entry we talked about how much energy is actually consumed just to create a single product. In that blog we used paper as an example, going through the process from driving to the forest to milling. This time we’re going to look at some hard numbers related to recyclable products and how much energy can be saved when we recycle them instead of throwing them into a landfill. Get in touch with us here at Grenelefe Recyclers to find out how we help our community save money and energy through our recycling services.
When paper is recycled it takes only 60 percent of the energy to create than a new paper product would. While this might still seem like a high energy expenditure, think about how significant that forty percent savings is after remembering all of the different types of fuel that are required to create paper products. This level of efficiency isn’t set in stone, either. Advances are being made every day to reduce the amount of energy used to recycle paper. Paper recycling also uses much less water than processing new wood for paper products.
Plastics are one of the thorniest materials when it comes to recycling. We all know that plastics in a landfill can last for hundreds of years before completely photodegrading (since microorganisms won’t eat plastics it’s up to the ultraviolet light of the sun to break down plastics), so it only makes sense to recycle as many of them as possible. For a long time recycling plastics meant a step down in quality (downgrading) every time a plastic good was recycled, but this is starting to change as new techniques for keeping plastics at the same recycling levels are developed and implemented.
Recycling glass can help prevent a lot of air and water pollution that is generated when new bottles are made. On average, recycling a bottle saves 20 percent of air pollution and 50 percent of water pollution that would be generated by creating a new bottle.
Aluminum recycling is one of the most efficient forms of recycling there is. Since aluminum is a stable element, it can be repurposed again and again and again. The energy savings from aluminum recycling can be staggering. With the energy required to create one new aluminum can, 100 recycled cans could be made!
As time goes on we will only find better ways to recycle — we’ll develop more efficient reclamation techniques, be able to recycle items more times, and consume less energy throughout the process. By recycling at your home and business you’re helping to develop those new techniques and technologies by showing that recycling is a necessary and important service, while simultaneously keeping millions of tons of waste out of landfills every year.
If your business would like to set up a recycling program where everything is done for you, please call us at Grenelefe Recyclers in Oceanside. With our business recycling programs we’ll bring recycling bins to your building, pick up your recyclables, and pay you for them!