Yes list: aluminum cans, glass, paper, containers: These materials are recycled and made into new items, such as new aluminum cans, new glass bottles, new metal products, new paper, new clothing (such as fleece), new carpet and plastic lumber, etc. Recycling is a viable and growing part of our nation’s economy. Materials that were previously thought of as garbage are now sought after as resources for a growing global economy. Last year almost 14 million tons of recovered paper were exported from the U.S. In fact, scrap paper is now our nation’s number one export by volume. Exports of recyclable commodities generate more than $8 billion annually for the U.S. Recycling is not just about reducing garbage; it’s also about saving resources and promoting sustainable economic development. When you recycle, your town receives a minimum of $15.67 per ton.
Materials on the “NO list,” such as hangers, scrap metal, and plastic bags, can get tangled in sorting or baling equipment. Some supermarkets will accept plastic bags for recycling. Lids and medicine bottles are too small and fall through bales. Scrap metal is too large to bale, so although it is recyclable it is collected separately. Check with your local transfer station to see if they accept scrap metal for recycling. There are no markets for many plastics, especially Styrofoam, planting pots, and plastics that are not from food and beverage or detergent products. Putting materials from the “NO list” into the recycling boxes slows down the workers at the recycling facility, as they have to pick them out and throw them in the garbage. “NO list” items contaminate the other recyclables, and can make marketing difficult. We hope that in the future more items on the “NO list” will become recyclable!
Fun Recycling Facts
• Recycling one aluminum can saves
the energy equivalent of one cup of gasoline.
• Every ton of paper recycled saves 17
full-sized trees and 380 gallons of oil.
• Five recycled two-liter PET bottles make one
square foot of carpet.
• Each glass bottle produced in the U.S.
contains around 30% recycled glass.