[This article was originally published in September 2021. It have been updated and revised.]
Everyone recycles. Or at least they should. But sometimes your recyclable items can be too much and end up being more than you can fit into your bins.
Sometimes your recycling can be too much of a good thing. Your residential recycling bin can only hold so much. Which means sometimes your recycling can pile up - or worse.
When the Recycling Bin Just Isn't Enough
So, what could be worse? Simply throwing all or most of it in the regular trash.
On the other hand, the more conscientious among us can be quite thorough and diligent when it comes to being a green corporate citizen of the world.
And that's not a bad thing.
But there can be times when the quantity of recyclable materials - especially items made of paper, paperboard, newsprint, and corrugated cardboard - can pile up to much more than you can fit into your residential recycling bin.
And there are times when you might have more than you can even fit into your own vehicle. Which simply means that trying to haul it all down to the local recycling center yourself becomes a challenge, as well.
In fact, if you don't have a pickup truck of your own, or access to one, then it can be nearly impossible.
This can happen after a large family gathering, a holiday celebration, or when you've been put in charge of "clean up" after a social or civic event in your town or neighborhood.
So, the question becomes, "How can I get rid of all this recycling?"
Recycling and Being Green: It's What Junk King Does Best
The good news is that Junk King is available to come and take all that recycling - and other items - off your hands and off your driveway or curbside.
At Junk King, we make it our mission to take the time and effort to recycle as much as we possibly can. In fact, we are successful recycling 60 percent of what we take in, on average. Through sorting and partnering with local vendors and facilities, we are able to find new uses - and new homes - for most everything we pick up.
Whether it is recycled, repurposed, or donated, Junk King promises to find a suitable method of disposal for your junk items and material.
And, while it may seem a bit odd to call a professional junk removal service to help you dispose of nothing more than "recycling", this can actually be a far more efficient, convenient, and even cost-effective option than trying to do it yourself.
We have the resources, the vehicles, the manpower, and the connections and alliances to make recycling removal and disposal fast and easy.
Besides, when you've got far more than you can reasonably load and transport yourself, it makes sense to call in the pros!
Common Household Recycling Materials: The More the Merrier
Despite the fact that up to 80 percent or so of all residential solid waste is potentially recyclable, there are just a handful of commonly recycled materials tossed out at home.
Perhaps the most common household items that are placed in residential recycling bins are plastic containers, aluminum cans and containers, and various types of paper and cardboard. In fact, the top five materials that are regularly recycled in the United States are:
- Aluminum cans
- Plastic bottles
Not far behind these materials are glass and all the used products that we categorize as e-waste, or electronic waste.
And the statistics seem to show that we produce massive amounts of all these waste materials.
Unfortunately, our collective recycling efforts fall short in several areas, especially with plastics. For example, according to Ecowatch.com,
- Of the 40 million tons of plastic waste generated in the U.S. in 2021, only 5% to 6% — or about two million tons — was recycled.
- Between 2019 and 2020, there was a 5.7% overall decrease in plastics recovered for recycling in the U.S. That is the equivalent of 290 million pounds.
- Approximately 36% of all plastic produced is used to create packaging, 85% of which ends up in landfills.
However, things are looking up for some of our other common recyclables.
Paper and paperboard (a.k.a cardboard) are some of the most-often recycled materials and account for about half of the recyclable materials collected when measured by weight. But the good news is that, in 2021 for example, more than 50 million tons of paper were recovered for recycling, which was an impressive recycling rate of 68 percent.
And corrugated cardboard waste did even better in 2021, with 91.4 percent of corrugated cardboard being recycled.
Because of the high recycling rates for aluminum, this type of waste only accounts for about one percent of the solid waste stream in the U.S. This is a good thing, as well, since aluminum, like glass, can be endlessly recycled. And recycling these materials uses far less energy than creating products out of raw materials.
And what about glass?
The story of recycled glass is a conflicted one. Because glass is made of common materials, primarily sand and limestone, it is one of the least expensive and most efficient materials to recycle. Unfortunately, however, close to 110 million glass bottles are thrown away every day in the United States, but only about a third get recycled.
And then there's all the e-waste...
The Rise of E-Waste and the Problem of Recycling
According to information from Earth911, the United States generated 6.92 million tons of e-waste, about 46 pounds per person, in 2019. But we only recycled 15 percent of the material.
Along with the devastation all this e-waste incurs in our landfills - and subsequently our ground water and atmosphere - there is a massive economic waste that takes place.
The same article from Earth911 noted that,
For every million cell phones that are recycled, 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered, according to the EPA. For those not familiar with palladium, it’s a precious metal using for making electrical contacts as well as surgical instruments and parts for watches.
Recycling circuit boards can be more valuable than mining for ore! One ton of circuit boards is estimated to contain 40 to 800 times more gold than one metric ton of ore. There is 30 to 40 times more copper in a ton of circuit boards that can be mined from one metric ton of ore.
Despite all the bad news when it comes to recycling household waste materials, there is a huge push in our country to reverse these trends and improve our recycling efforts.
Because Recycling Still Matters
So much progress has been made in our country when it comes to recycling that we have an entire generation (or two!) that has never known otherwise. However, it's not uncommon for people to only think of recycling in terms of paper and plastic.
But just about everything we dispose of can be recycled, repurposed, or reused.
As a blog post from the CalRecycle website points out,
“Food waste, green waste, and other organic material can either:
- Decompose in landfills, emitting methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide, or
- Be recycled into new products, such as renewable energy or soil-healing compost to turn depleted dirt back into nutrient rich, water retaining, agriculturally productive soil – reducing the need for chemical pesticide and fertilizer use.
Compost also adds living microbes to soil, which pull the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the air.Manufacturing products from recycled materials requires less energy and results in fewer GHG emissions than mining, refining, processing, and shipping raw materials to make new products, which results in less burning of fossil fuels.
We can recycle organic waste into carbon-neutral biofuel to produce electricity, fuel, or renewable natural gas, further decreasing fossil fuel use and its environmental and health costs.”
In many places throughout the country, great strides have been made to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills.
Take the state of California, for example,
“In 2018, California recycled 18.5 billion plastic, glass, aluminum, and bimetal beverage containers – the second highest number in the state's history. Since passing its bottle bill, Californians have reduced litter and landfilling by recycling nearly 400 billion beverage containers.Thanks to the bottle bill, curbside recycling, and other waste reduction, reuse, and recycling efforts, California now recycles the equivalent of roughly one-third of the state’s annual landfill capacity each year, reducing the need for new or expanded garbage dumps. This means less air pollution, water pollution, land used and truck traffic.”
The Environmental Protection Agency as one would imagine, is a staunch promoter of recycling and has listed some of the benefits that are still important today:
- Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
- Conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals
- Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials
- Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
- Saves energy
So, if your recycling need is bigger than your recycling bin, give Junk King a call and let us help you help the planet.
Got Big Recycling? Go Big with Junk King!
You have a better option for your large recycling needs: Call your local Junk King.
Junk King provides professional junk hauling services that includes picking up and hauling off large amounts of recyclable materials. Regardless of whether that's piles of plastic materials, discarded glass bottles, stacks of newsprint or other paper waste - we've got you covered.
And we don't just do recyclables - we'll even take your excess trash and garbage.
But the good news is that even your "other" junk, debris, and trash can mostly be recycled and that's exactly what we do with up to 60 percent or more of everything we pick every day.
So, no matter what your junk consists of, Junk King can help you get rid of it.
Recycling is part of being a green junk removal company!
We provide the most eco-friendly junk disposal processes of any junk removal service. And we are ready to help you get rid of any large quantities of paper, plastic, metal, or glass waste, along with your other unwanted junk, large trash items.
And that includes old appliances!
Our professional and insured appliance disposal team will show up at your home or office; we call 15 minutes before we arrive on site and we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your junk takes up in our truck. You point and we haul your unwanted items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
You can make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).