March Blog

Last month we talked about the results of a Harris poll discussing what people believe, and what their perceptions are, about recycling.

Here are the important facts:

  1. Scrap recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions by requiring much less energy to manufacture products from recyclables than from virgin material and by land fill avoidance.
  2.  The U.S. scrap industry is a sophisticated, capital intensive industry that employs close to 150,000 Americans.
  3.  In 2015 alone, more than 130 million tons of recyclables worth over $80 billion were manufactured into specific commodities by the U.S. scrap industry.
  4. Though we have no written evidence from the cavemen about recycling, there are artifacts found around the world that would lead us to believe that they were recyclers.

Debunking the myths:

Although the issues of curbside items  being commingled with waste may have been true at one time, huge investments in recycling and sorting plants have been made across the globe to eliminate this issue.

Products made from recycled material have become the first link in the manufacturing supply chain.

Recycling has been integral to the U.S. economy, global trade, and resource sustainability for over 200 years.

Saving energy and conserving resources is the biggest myth.  While 5% thought this to be a myth, this is the greatest contribution of recycling.

Recycled steel, aluminum and copper save 56%, 92%, and 90% respectively over raw material.

Recycling 1 ton of steel conserves 2500 pounds of iron ore, 1400 pounds of coal, and 120 pounds of limestone.  Recycling 1 ton of aluminum conserves more than 4 tons of bauxite ore.

Truth be told, recycling makes the world better in so many ways.