Most homes in America have residential waste management service. And this usually includes both a trash bin and a recycling bin. But what are we recycling?
For most people, it's often little more than plastic containers, a few glass bottles, and aluminum waste materials. Yet there could be so much more.
Recycling is More Than Bottles, Cans, and Boxes
In the United States, we've gotten pretty good at recycling plastic water bottles - the ones made with Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) - along with aluminum cans and glass bottles. In fact, we have managed to hit some relatively impressive recycling rate numbers with these materials.
However, with plastic bottles, for example, the U.S. only ranked number six behind five other countries: Norway, Japan, Sweden, India, and the European Union.
Norway managed to pull off a recycling rate of 97 percent, while the number five contender - the EU - only recycled a "paltry" 58.2 percent.
But we straggled far behind all of them with just under 29 percent of our waste plastic bottles getting recycled. Unfortunately, that means that over 70 percent of them end up in landfills. And we throw out more than 70 million bottles each day.
And we haven't even talked about glass or paper and cardboard!
Cardboard Packaging, Glass Jars and Bottles, and a Boatload of Paper
As Americans, we generate a massive amount of trash - especially considering that we are only 4 percent of the world's population.
And, as one organization put it,
According to a new report from Verisk Maplecroft, a global risk-assessment and consulting firm, the United States accounts for only about 4 percent of the world's population yet generates 12 percent of the planet's municipal solid waste (MSW), better known as garbage.
For example, the EPA reported that in 2018, paper and paperboard, or cardboard, materials made up the largest component of municipal solid waste (MSW).
But the good news is that approximately 46 million tons of paper and paperboard were recycled that year for a recycling rate of 68.2 percent - the highest rate compared to other materials in the waste stream.
Glass is not much a player these days, however. It only accounts for about 4 percent of the waste stream. Unfortunately, while it is potentially 100 percent recyclable - and almost infinitely so - we only manage to recycle about 30 percent of it.
Why Waste Diversion Matters
Now here is another interesting thing: according to the EPA, almost 80 percent of everything that ends up in our country's solid waste stream is potentially recyclable.
Some of it is intentionally diverted away from recycling due to a lack of affordable technology, while other materials are simply too difficult or costly to recycle. This means that it simply doesn't pay to recycle them.
However, a large portion of this recyclable solid waste simply ends up in landfills because it was never diverted from the solid waste stream.
And this diverting of recyclables often begins at home.
Household Waste Recycling Starts at Home
Some residents in towns and cities across America have three or even four bins for their household waste. Usually one for "garbage" that's not recyclable, and one for recyclable household materials, one for organic - or green - waste like grass clippings and leaves, and even one for food waste and similar material.
This makes recycling a breeze for these folks. However, not everyone has all those options. Some places have just one recycling bin and it is often limited to paper, plastic, glass, and metal.
In addition to this limiting factor, if a homeowner or renter's recyclable waste happens to be too large to fit in the bin - or there's simply far too much of it - that presents a problem.
And, of course, there are millions of Americans in the U.S. who don't have recycling receptacles.
Fortunately, when it comes to large recycling needs and bulk items that could benefit from being diverted from landfills, there are options.
We've put together this handy guide to help you in your household waste recycling endeavors:
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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - More Than a Nice Slogan
Considering the vast amounts of trash and waste we generate each day in America - almost 830,000 tons - it stands to reason that keeping as much of it as possible out of our landfills is important.
And if we could succeed in recycling even 75 percent of it all on a regular basis, we would lower costs on many consumer products, decrease the amount of waste being landfilled, and help to minimize our manufacturing industry's impact on the atmosphere.
Junk King: Your Green Partner for Recycling Household Waste
We can provide you with a sustainable and green disposal option for all your junk removal needs.
Junk King provides professional junk hauling services to remove any types of junk including anything made with glass, metal, paper, and plastic. And we work hard to recycle as much of all the junk we pick up each day.
We can even remove your old furniture, yard waste, and excess garbage, as well.
Junk King has the equipment and teams for removing large refrigerators and other appliances, and we can move them down stairways, up basement steps, or out through garages.
Whatever type of junk you have, we always try to recycle or reuse everything and anything we pick up. Junk King's eco-friendly junk removal service helps you get rid of any unwanted junk, large plastic trash items, in a sustainable way.
If you are stuck with large amounts of waste plastic, Junk King can help you get rid of it today!
Our professional and insured junk removal team will show up at your home or office, and we'll call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive. Once there, we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your junk takes up in our truck.
So, ready to get rid of that "hard-to-recycle" plastic waste? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
Make an appointment with us by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).