What does it mean to recycle?
Literally, it means to treat or process (used and waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse.
Recycling also means:
- Saving energy
- Saving raw materials
- Preventing pollution
- Conserving valuable landfill space
- Reducing disposal cost
- Reducing litter
North Carolinians recycle 85.4 pounds of materials a second! But we throw away over 752 pounds of trash a second. That's almost nine times what we recycle!
- Last year NC trashed enough paper to fill 1,558 football fields three feet deep!
- Recycling an aluminum can saves 95% of the energy required to make the same amount of aluminum from virgin materials.
- Producing recycled paper requires about 60% of the energy used to make paper from virgin wood pulp.
- Producing glass from virgin materials requires 30% more energy than producing it from crushed, used glass.
- One ton of uncoasted virgin (non-recycled) printing and office paper uses 24 trees.
- Producing new plastic from recycled material uses only 2/3 of the energy required to manufacture it from raw materials.
- One ton of paper made from recycled scrap paper saves 7,000 gallons of water.
- Nearly all the steel made in the US and in the world is made from scrap.
- Producing recycled paper causes 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution than producing virgin paper.
- Recycling one ton of steel reduces air pollution by 86% and water pollution by 76%, and saves 74% of the energy and 40% of the water that would have otherwise been used.
- Recycled paper production used 59% less water compared to paper production from virgin resources.