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       University at Buffalo > Recycling > ReThinking Your Waste > Recycle


The Three R's
Reduce
Reuse

Close the Loop








The Third R: Recycle

Once you have taken all these steps towards diverting your waste from the landfill there are still things that can be done to reduce the total amount of trash that is produced: recycle. Currently American's throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every three months (cleanair.org). In fact about 80% of what American's throw away is recyclable (dosomething.org).

Benefits of Recycling

Take a look at what can be saved by recycling: 


1 Ton of Recycled:

Kwh of Energy Saved

Barrels of Oil Saved

Btu’s of Energy Saved

Cubic Yards of Landfill Space Saved

Aluminum

14,000

40

238 million

10

Newsprint

601

1.7 (71 gallons)

10.2 million

4.6

Office Paper

4,100

9

54 million

3.3

Plastic

5,774

16.3

98 million

30

Steel

642

1.8

10.9

4

(ecocycle.org)

Economic Impact

Recycling not only conserves scarce natural resources, but also creates jobs. By some estimates it can create 6 times as many jobs as landfilling (ecocycle.org). To help this necessary enterprise grow we need to understand that recycling is more than just what can fit into that blue bin that gets put onto the curb once a week. We can all do more, but it might take a little more work on our part. Check out these great outside resources for additional recycling:

  • You can take CFL lightbulbs to The Home Depot for safe recycling
  • If you have plastic shopping bags around the house, take them to a local grocery store like Wegman's or The Lexington Co-op to be recycled
  • Many cell phone companies will accept your old cell phone and recycle them for free; just look for a drop off point

 

 

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