Recycling by the Numbers
In today′s consumer driven society, we all play a role in preserving the environment. Both as individuals and part of a global community, it is important that we develop practices and habits that are consistent with improving the condition of our earth. Given that the average person throws away approximately 2½ pounds of trash per day, we are all responsible for reducing our impact on our environment. Reducing consumption, reusing what cannot be reduced and recycling what cannot be reused is essential and can easily fit right into the life of any UCO student, faculty or staff member.
The UCORecycling Program encourages the entire campus community to participate in our recycling program.
REASONS TO RECYCLE:
1. PRESERVES NATURAL RESOURCES
"In the United States, we cut down 2 million trees every day to produce newsprint and paper products. Recycling the print run of a single Sunday issue of the New York Times would spare 75,000 trees." In 1998, paper recycling in California alone, saved 203 square miles of timberland from being cut.
"Recycling 1 ton of aluminum saves 4 tons of bauxite (aluminum ore) and 1540 lbs of petroleum coke and pitch.
"Using recycled materials for manufacturing saves water. By using recycled paper, 60% of the water normally needed in paper manufacturing is saved; by using recycled steel, there is a 40% water savings, and a 50% water savings by using recycled glass.
2. REDUCES ENERGY CONSUMPTION
"Plastic bottle recycling could save 50 to 60 percent of the energy needed to make new ones. Making new steel from old scrap offers up to 75 percent energy savings. Producing aluminum from scrap instead of bauxite ore cuts energy use by 95 percent, yet we still throw away more than a million tons of aluminum per year." Paper recycling could save up to 70% of the energy needed to create paper from new timber.
3. REDUCES POLLUTION
"If aluminum recovery were doubled worldwide, more than a million tons of air pollutants would be eliminated every year." Manufacturing products from recycled paper reduces water pollution by 35% and air pollutants by 73%. Using recycled steel in manufacturing can cut down on 76% of the water pollutants, 86% of the air pollutants, and 97% of the mining wastes that would normally be produced. Using recycled glass can reduce the water used by manufacturing by 50%, cut air pollution by 20%, and reduce mining wastes by 80%.
4. REDUCES NEED FOR LANDFILLS
5. "In the United States landfills include more than 80 percent of all solid waste." "Recycling could cut our waste volumes by 50 percent or more, drastically reducing the pressure on landfills and other disposal systems. Philadelphia is investing in neighborhood collection centers that will recycle 600 tons a day, enough to eliminate the need for a previously planned, high-priced incinerator. New York City\'s curbside collection service, should more than pay for itself simply in avoided landfill and disposal costs."
6. REDUCES LITTER
"Litter is a costly as well as unsightly problem. We pay an estimated thirty-two cents for each piece of litter picked up by crews along state highways, which adds up to $500 million every year."
7. RAISES AWARENESS
"Recycling encourages individual awareness and responsibility for the refuse produced."
(Above quotes came from: Understanding Our Environment: An Introduction, by William P. Cunningham. William C. Brown Publishers, Dubuque, IA. 1994. Pp. 282-283.)