[This article was originally published in November 2017 and has been update and revised.]
Paper and cardboard, plastic water bottles, aluminum cans: that's pretty much everything when it comes to household recycling, right? Nope - not really!
In fact, there are probably dozens of items you throw out each year that are highly recyclable.
The stark reality of recycling is that not enough of it happens.
Unfortunately, most of us tend to simply throw things in the trash and most of our trash ends up in landfills or waste incineration plants.
And, eve though the vast majority of Americans can do little to impact industrial-scale waste disposal practices, we can definitely "up our game" when it comes to recycling household waste items.
Household recycling can not only take different forms, but it can include a wide variety of common household trash items. In fact, with some creativity, planning, and a little effort almost anything you to simply toss out can actually be recycled, reused or repurposed.
In addition to the smaller items that can be reused or recycled, almost every appliance and piece of furniture in your home can be efficiently disposed of to then be dismantled and the components recycled accordingly.
With the right service or the right methods, just about anything you need to get rid of in your home can be recycled. Which is a good thing since we still have a long ways to go when it comes to recycling.
According to State of Curbside Recycling 2020, the recycling study presented some sobering statistics:
Out of 37.4 million tons available to be recycled, 20 million tons are thrown in the trash due to lack of access and participation. If these 20 million tons were recycled, it would:
- Generate 370,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs
- Reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 96 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent
- Conserve an annual energy equivalent of 154 million barrels of oil
- And achieve the equivalent of taking more than 20 million cars off U.S. highways
Unfortunately, some materials such as plastic have a long life.
In fact, it's been determined that many plastics can take more than 400 years to degrade. And, since only about 10 to 15 percent of waste plastic is properly disposed of or incinerated, most of it still exists somewhere on the planet or in the oceans.
The World Watch Institute noted that, while the United States only represents five percent of the world's population, we manage to generate more waste than any other country in the world.
And what does the future hold for recycling? Globally, the total amount of waste generated is estimated to double the year 2035.
10 Easy Ways to Increase Household Recycling
One of the great things about household trash is that almost everything that ends up in the waste stream can be recycled, repurposed or reused. In fact, there are a large number of common materials that make up the bulk of our household trash and junk that should be.
By being aware of these waste materials and being strategic in your junk disposal practices you can make a huge difference in the overall recycling efforts.
To help you in your renewed recycling efforts, we created this handy infographic to illustrate the ten most common household items that you can recycle:
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There's Much More To Recycling Than Just "Being Green"
Anyone under the age of 40 has grown up in an eco-friendly, recycling- conscientious society in America. We learned about it in school from our earliest years and have been surrounded ads, public service announcements, and signs about recycling.
In fact, for decades now, recycling and green practices have been promoted continuously and just about everywhere. Even our residential waste bins reflect it: most of us have different bins, or compartments, for different materials, all to be recycled if possible.
Does curbside recycling help? Actually, yes. But only if we make proper and full use of the services provided. And, as we've already noted, much of your household junk and excess trash can be disposed of through recycling.
The Recycling Partnership has this interesting graphic illustrating some of the perspectives of curbside recycling:
So what are the benefits of our improved recycling efforts?
- It protects the forests which help to reduce CO2 emissions
- Recycling significantly reduces use of fossil fuel energy and reduces CO2 emissions
- Increased recycling helps conserve our finite natural resources
- Recycling also conserves fresh water up to 95% in the mining and manufacturing process for many materials
- And recycling prevents waste from going into oceans
Many of us find we have growing amount of clothes, shoes, and other personal belongings, or larger household items like furniture or sports equipment. In fact, almost everyone finds themselves excess stuff at some point. In addition, our things break, wear out, or simply become unusable or outdated.
What do you do then?
For too many, unfortunately, the seemingly obvious action is to simply toss things out. But adding to the municipal waste stream and your local landfill isn't always the best choice, however. In fact, with a little advance planning and forethought, much of what we consider simply junk or trash may, in fact, be utilized or disposed of in other ways such as at a recycling center.
As we have noted previously, we are familiar with the most common materials that get recycled from homes: paper, plastic, aluminum cans and glass. But there are a number of other common items and materials that can be recycled either into raw material, or by reuse and repurposing.
Choose the Right Junk Removal Firm for Your Large Recycling
A great benefit to having a professional firm remove your household and other trash is that you won't have unsightly junk and debris taking up space. Typically, you can have it taken away that day or the next day, and sometimes even from inside your home so you don’t have to put it out in your driveway, parking lot or loading dock.
Junk King is proud to be North America’s greenest residential junk removal service. We pioneered recycling based junk removal in 2005 and have been going greener ever since. We sort each and every job for metals, e-waste, paper, household goods, textiles, furniture and appliances, in our recycling warehouses.
But “going green” also means we donate, repurpose, and reuse everything from clothing, toys, baby cribs and strollers to office furniture and supplies.
We run many of our trucks run on biodiesel, a domestically produced fuel made from more environmentally safe non-petroleum, renewable resources. Junk King is committed to continuing to lead the way to help keep our planet clean, green and beautiful for the generations to come.
Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly junk removal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of the debris after your project is complete.
Whether you need our services several times during a storage space cleaning project, or just once after it is complete, our hauling professionals will ensure that the furniture and debris is quickly out of your way so that you can get on with your life.
Our team specializes in trash and junk removal. We can be at your home in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.
One of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle a much of the material we pick-up. This is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at 1-888-888-JUNK (5865).