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Recycling

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by

Michael Scarlett

on 27 January 2014

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Transcript of Recycling

Recycling
By Michael Scarlett
Bottles and Cans
What is recycling?
Converting waste into re-usable material.

Plastic is sorted by type and sent to manufacturers.
-Glass is separated by color, melted, and sold to manufacturers of new glass bottles and jars.


Aluminum cans are returned to can manufacturers where they are melted down and made into new cans.

Why is it important to recycle?
Save energy
Reduce landfills

Conserve materials
Moving towards zero waste in MA:
- The energy savings from recycling 61 billion aluminum cans exceeded the energy equivalent of 17 million barrels of crude oil.

-Another way to look at it: recycling 1 can = 3 hours of TV, so last year the U.S. saved enough energy by recycling cans to run 162 billion hours of TV, or about 25 hours of TV for every man, woman and child on Earth.
Recycling saves a lot of energy
By not having to remake the product from scratch
(For aluminum cans, 95% less)
Recycling directly takes waste out of landfills
Americans generate over 243 million tons of trash every year according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
However, 61 million tons of what would otherwise be solid waste was recovered through recycling last year.
The conservation and efficient use of materials helps save money while conserving natural resources.
Zero Waste
Zero Waste is an approach to resource management that maximizes recycling, and minimizes waste
How can we achieve zero waste?
The overall plastic recycling rate is 8%
It seems simple, but people need incentive
The Bottle Bill
- Massachusetts retailers pay distributors a 5-cent deposit for each can or bottle purchased.
- When buying a beverage, the consumer pays the deposit to the retailer.
- The consumer gets the 5-cent deposit refunded when they return the can or bottle to the retail store, a redemption center or a reverse vending machine.
Works as an economic incentive:
And it is proven to work:
-In 1982 the original Bottle Bill was passed and as a result of this first statewide recycling program, today, 80% of bottles and cans covered under the Bottle Bill are recycled instead of buried or burned.
However...
Not all bottles and cans are covered by the current Bottle Bill
Only 20% of containers not covered under this deposit law end up being recycled. That adds up to more than 1 billion water, energy and sports drink bottles per year that get thrown in our landfills or burned in incinerators.
80%

or
20%
?
?
Updating the Bottle Bill
Achieving Zero Waste
A recent survey showed that 77% of the public supports updating the Bottle Bill.
However, big businesses have been blocking the legislation for over a decade
But this is the answer

Sources:
http://www.affluentmagazine.com/articles/article/69
http://www.bottlebill.org/about/benefits/waste.htm
http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/deao/recycling/pa/climate-change
http://www.bottlebill.org/legislation/usa/massachusetts.htm
http://www.habitat.org/env/materials_conservation.aspx
http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/plastics.htm
Full transcript