Recycling | Teen Ink


April 16, 2008
By Anonymous

Recycling in all schools must be mandatory. If all schools in the United States recycled every possible material they could, including: water, energy, paper, metal, aluminum cans, glass, plastic, styrofoam, steel, junk mail, garbage, tires, food, newspapers, and light-bulbs, the would we could save thousands, possibly millions of dollars each year.

If one aluminum can is recycled, there is enough energy saved to power a television set for three hours. There is enough recyclable aluminum, with the amount thrown out in one month by Americans, to reconstruct our entire commercial fleet of airplanes. Once Americans begin recycling aluminum cans, there will be 95% more energy saved through recycling than manufacturing the material from scratch. The energy savings from recycling aluminum in 1993 alone was enough to light a city the size of Pittsburgh for six years. Imagine the sheer amount of energy that could be saved and utilized in 2008!

Paper: We all use it every… single… day. One ton of virgin (non-recycled) newsprint uses 12 trees; A "pallet" of copier paper (20-lb. sheet weight, or 20#) contains 40 cartons and weighs 1 ton. Therefore:

*1 carton (10 reams) of 100% virgin copier paper uses .6 trees

*1 tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper or 8,333.3 sheets

*1 ream (500 sheets) uses 6% of a tree (and those add up quickly!)

*1 ton of coated, higher-end virgin magazine paper (used for magazines like
National Geographic and many others) uses a little more than 15 trees (15.36)

*1 ton of coated, lower-end virgin magazine paper (used for newsmagazines and
most catalogs) uses nearly 8 trees (7.68)

*At least 38.9% of the U.S. waste stream is paper.

*Americans throw away 44 million newspapers everyday. That’s the same as
dumping 500,000 trees into landfills each week.

*If every household reused a paper grocery bag for one shopping trip, about
60,000 trees would be saved.

*We save 17 trees for each ton of recycled newspaper.

*Recycling a 36-newspaper stack saves the equivalent of about 14% of the
average household electric bill.

*Making one ton of recycled paper uses only about 60% of the energy needed to
make a ton of virgin paper.

*One person uses two pine trees worth of paper products every year.

*Americans discard 4 million tons of office paper every year--enough to build a
12 foot-high wall of paper from New York to California.

*American’s throw out about 85% of the office paper we use.

*Americans use 50 million tons of paper annually--which means we consume
more than 850 million trees. That means the average American uses about 580
pounds of paper each year.

*Every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil.

Another benefit of recycling is the amount of jobs created by the industry and the economic benefits provided by it. Recycling waste materials supports about six times as many waste-related jobs as there would be if the same materials were treated as trash. The economic benefit of recycling is proven by the fact that Texas’s economy was boosted with more than 2.8 billion dollars last year.

The preservation of food is paramount. While it may seem like food is something that can’t really be preserved… Americans dump more than 21 million shopping bags worth of food into landfills each year. People must stop wasting food. Some Americans believe food is something that is readily available to everyone… when in fact there are about 15 million children dying of starvation every year. The general public should be doing their part by making sure they waste absolutely no food, and consume everything they buy.

For those few people who don’t really mind hearing the starvation facts of third-world countries, it has been documented that one of eight children under the age of 12 go to bed hungry in the United States every night. Another startling fact is that roughly every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger. With this recycling of any recyclable material, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions will be lessened by 14-20%.

So do your part, help prevent one of those deaths.

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