Monday, April 30, 2007


The more we travel, we realize that we were spoiled. In Madison, recycling was convenient - we easily recycled all of our aluminum, plastic, glass, paper and cardboard in a city provided container every other week on the curbside. Most cities we have visited do not provide this convenience and we have found that most items that could be recycled are thrown in the trash.

Recycling reduces the energy and raw materials for production and reduces waste going to landfills. Some examples:
- Aluminum made from recycled aluminum instead of raw ore requires 95% less energy.
- Recycling 1 ton of plastic reduces CO2 emissions by about 1 ton.
-Between 2-4 barrels of oil is saved by recycling 1 ton of paper.

Two methods of recycling exist:
Curbside Pickup:
Pro: Convenient for residents, More material gets recycled
Con: Costly for taxpayers
Drop-off Recycling Center:
Pro: Inexpensive for taxpayers
Con: Less material gets recycled, Inconvenient

Several hard items to recycle are batteries, electronics, and tires and they need to be taken to special locations. While traveling, we saw that Savannah sets up a tent for hard to recycle items at their annual Earth Day Celebration. I thought that was such a convenient process for recycling.

Two good recycling guides are:
-This site has more information about what and why we should recycle.

-This site will help you find out what is available in your city.

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