Recycling is an excellent way of saving energy and conserving the environment.
Recycling is when we make something new out of something old.
Glass can be melted down and remade into bottles and jars. Recycled metals are also melted. Recycled paper is pulped with water to make a slurry from which new sheets of paper are made.
Nature is a master recycler. Nothing is ever wasted. When a tree dies, beetles eat the wood and fungi break it down, returning nutrients to the soil for other plants to use. Recycling is vital to the natural world, and we are a part of that world, so we should recycle too.
Why should we recycle ?
• Recycling uses less energy and resources than making things new.
• The raw materials for glass – sand, soda and lime – all have to be dug from the Earth. They are then melted together at 1500º. This takes a lot of energy.
• Supplies of these raw materials and oil for energy will not last forever, so it is important to save them.
• Bottles and jars are collected for recycling. The glass is broken into small pieces and melted down. Melting glass that has already been made is much easier than melting the raw materials.
• Glass is not biodegradable, so the glass that we throw away will last forever, using up valuable space or polluting our precious environment.
What can we re-cycle ?
Nearly everything we use can be recycled:
Food and garden waste;
Instead of sending food and garden waste to landfill sites where it goes smelly and makes the dangerous gas methane, turn it into compost for your garden!
Glass is 100% recyclable. It can be re-melted and re-used over and over again, for ever!
Most plastics can be recycled, look for the recycle symbol. (see our glossary under ‘plastic’)
Paper and cardboard:
Recycling paper and cardboard saves trees! Most newspapers are made with at least 50% recycled paper.
Food and drink cans are either made of aluminum or steel. Both types can be recycled.
Clothes, sheets, blankets and shoes can all be recycled.Materials can be shredded and the fibres made into new fabrics.
Some Interesting Facts
At one time, aluminum was more valuable than gold!
Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item, but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours — or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
More aluminum goes into beverage cans than any other product.
An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!
There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled.
We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year.
A 60-watt light bulb can be run for over a day on the amount of energy saved by recycling 1 pound of steel.
In one year in the United States, the recycling of steel saves enough energy to heat and light 18,000,000 homes!
A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. That’s closed loop recycling at its finest!
Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used again and again.
Every month, we throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper. All of these jars are recyclable!
The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or a compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.
A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose . Glass that is thrown away and ends up in landfills will never decompose.
Mining and transporting raw materials for glass produces about 385 pounds of waste for every ton of glass that is made. If recycled glass is substituted for half of the raw materials, the waste is cut by more than 80%.
Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials.
The average person gets through 38kg of newspapers per year.
It takes 24 trees to make 1 ton of newspaper.
If all newspapers were recycled in the U.S., they could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!
If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you’d get about 700 of them. A busy supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags!
The average consumer in the U.S. uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 trees per year!
In the UAE, the average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.
The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.
The average UAE resident uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. With an estimated population in the UAE of 4.4 million in 2007, that is 30,800,000 trees consumed by the population in the UAE.
Most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.
The use of plastic in Western Europe is growing about 4% each year.
Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.
Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour! And most of them are thrown away!
Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year!
Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year.
About one-third of an average dump is made up of packaging material!
Every year, each UAE resident throws out about 125 kilograms of organic garbage that can be composted.
Every year, each American throws out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted.
The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world’s people generate 40% of the world’s waste.
The highest point in Hamilton County, Ohio (near Cincinnati) is “Mount Rumpke.” It is actually a mountain of trash at the Rumpke sanitary landfill towering 1045 ft. above sea level.
The US population discards each year 16,000,000,000 diapers, 1,600,000,000 pens, 2,000,000,000 razor blades, 220,000,000 car tires, and enough aluminum to rebuild the US commercial air fleet four times over.
Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.
On average, it costs $30 per ton to recycle trash, $50 to send it to the landfill, and $65 to $75 to incinerate it.
Did you know that:
- 1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
- 1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
- 1 tonne of glass that is recycled saves 1.2 tonnes of raw materials and the equivalent of 136 litres of oil energy.
- 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
- 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.
Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled.
The unreleased energy contained in the average dustbin each year could power a television for 5,000 hours.
The largest lake in the Britain could be filled with rubbish from the UK in 8 months.
On average, 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging, which ultimately ends up as rubbish.
As much as 50% of waste in the average dustbin could be composted.
Up to 80% of a vehicle can be recycled.
9 out of 10 people would recycle more if it were made easier.
Rainforests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute!
A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.
Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re-refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.
An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres of space — that’s almost 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.
On average, each one of us produces 3.4 kilograms of solid waste each day. This adds up to over a ton of trash per person, per year. Make sure you recycle and dispose of it correctly!
The majority of GCC countries are ranked in the top ten worldwide in terms of waste production per capita. Approximately 120 million tons of waste is currently produced in the GCC countries. 55% of this waste is estimated to be construction and demolition waste, 20% municipal waste, 18% industrial waste, and 7% hazardous waste.
In Kuwait, generated solid waste is expected to rise to 1,324,000 tonnes in 2010, 1,472,000 tonnes in 2015 and 1,661,000 tonnes in 2020.
According to the Dubai Statistics Centre, waste from the building industry amounted to 23.2 million tonnes in 2008. That is more than double the figure in 2006, and accounted for 84 per cent of total waste, against 74 per cent in 2006.