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Recycling Facts

Updated on July 18, 2012
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

image:sxc  credit:velma
image:sxc credit:velma

Recycling facts are not just interesting bits and pieces of information. Facts educate people about the need to recycle and they encourage people to be more aware of recycling as a lifestyle. While most people think of the “big three” recyclables (glass, aluminum, and paper) few consider less well known recyclables like:

  • Computers
  • Electronic Waste
  • Cars
  • Used automotive oil
  • Textiles

At this point in time almost any product can be recycled somewhere. Recycling is important because it means less waste in the landfills and less carbon emissions used in manufacturing in many cases.

Interesting Recycling Facts

According to the Environmental Protection Agency:

If one ton of paper is recycled :

  • 17 mature trees are saved
  • 3 cubic yards of landfill space is left empty
  • 7,000 gallons of water are saved
  • 2 barrels of oil is saved
  • Enough energy is saved to power an average home for five months

If aluminum is recycled:

  • An average home could be electrically powered for ten years on the energy that is saved
  • Throwing away one aluminum can wastes the same amount of energy as dumping half a can of gasoline out on the ground.

If glass is recycled:

  • If one glass bottle is recycled it saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for four hours.

Computer diskettes:

  • Currently nearly four million diskettes are thrown away daily. The disks will take five hundred years to degrade.

There are many items that can be recycled that many people never think about. By taking some extra time to recycle these items you can make a big impact on the environment, in a positive way.

Computer Recycling

There are basically two environmentally friendly ways to deal with an unwanted computer.

  • Donate it if it is still working- Many charities and organizations welcome a working computer whether it is old or not. Consider your local schools, preschools, or veteran's programs as well as various charities.
  • Recycling- Even of your computer is not working at all there are places were you can take it to have it recycled.

Computers and other electronics are made up of mostly recyclable components. In fact, nearly ninety-nine percent of these items can are recyclable.

Many computer manufacturers have recycling programs for the computers they produce. You should check with the company that made your computer to see if they have a recycling program. Among the many companies that do are:

  • Dell
  • Gateway
  • Apple

Electronic Waste Recycling

e-Waste is a term that covers all electronic waste. Electronic waste recycling is especially important because of the hazardous materials e-waste contains. Some of these are:

  • Lead
  • Cadmium
  • Beryllium
  • Brominated flame retardants

When these items are thrown away the chemicals are released into the environment. By recycling them properly these materials can be kept out of the environment.

Companies that recycle e-waste are:

  • Staples will recycle a variety of products including computers and office electronics
  • Best Buy has an excellent recycling program. You can drop cell phones, rechargeable batteries, and ink cartridges at any store. They also will remove and recycle a variety of electronics and appliances when they deliver your new one.
  • Radio Shack also recycles batteries and cell phones.

Fluorescent Tube Recycling

Fluorescent tubes must be recycled or disposed of as hazardous waste; it is illegal to just throw them away.

When you are handling fluorescent tubes be careful not to break them. If they get broken they can't be recycled. You should keep the original box to put the used tubes back in to take to the recycling center. To find out where you can take fluorescent tubes to be recycled just do a zip code search on earth 911. This site allows you to search for a number of different types of recycling.

When you have the recycling facts, and you understand what you can recycle you will be more able to effectively deal with your unwanted and nonworking items in an environmentally friendly manner.


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    • Kulin Shah profile image

      Kulin Shah 6 years ago from Mumbai, Maharashtra

      Nice hub... short and precise

    • profile image

      amrisha 6 years ago

      recycling is reliving our earth!!!

    • profile image

      nicole 8 years ago

      I have to write a persuasive essay for english, I chose to write about recycling.This was very helpful!

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      nice hub, somebody's waste can still be somebody's necessity, oftentimes we discard a perfectly functioning item because there is a new or better model. if not, we could develop a proper waste disposal specially of electronic devices.

    • lelanew55 profile image

      lelanew55 8 years ago

      Informative hub on what to do with stuff you don't use.

      This is one of the issues that interests me a great deal. I just finished writing on electronic waste. Knowing how to recycle properly so that we are really helping the environment is really important. Some recycling companies don't really do the job especially when it comes to e-waste. Your electronics might end up in landfills in Africa or Asia or for that matter even here. So we have to dig a little deeper and ask companies what they do with the electonics and also do our own research.

    • Muzmit profile image

      Muzmit 8 years ago

      Good hub. The problem of some governments dragging their heals when it comes to this issue is criminal. I was in Berlin recently and they are far more advanced than my own country (UK).

    • James Ginn profile image

      James Ginn 8 years ago from Ohio

      Consider me educated. I had always heard that recycling was too expensive to be truly viable. Thank you for the information.

    • thelesleyshow profile image

      TheLesleyShow 8 years ago from US

      Great information! Thumbs up!

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 8 years ago from Lancaster, Texas


    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Good hub. Well done. is a good example of eWaste.

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 8 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Interesting Hub, full of good, useful information...Thanks

      You left out the most corrosive recyclable out there...Congress

      I'm hoping we recycle all of them in 2010....

    • judydianne profile image

      judydianne 8 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      This hub was very helpful. Thank you!