EDITOR'S NOTE: All of Ask Renee's columns are moving to NUVO! Here's one from September of 2015.
Find more Ask Renee columns here: nuvo.net/askrenee
My family and I try to repurpose, precycle and recycle as much as we can. We have recently gotten into a discussion with a neighbor child about recycling. He tells us they won’t recycle because it take so much energy. Where can I find good information that will show him the benefits? I would love to get their family to recycle as they have a mountain of trash every week.
Thanks so much for your help and advice!
I love that you’re talking with your neighbors about recycling — and it’s kind of scary thinking that a parent is telling their child that recycling is bad. Here are some facts you can share that will hopefully open their minds.
- The Aluminum Association says that recycling aluminum saves more than 90% of the energy needed to make new aluminum. Aluminum is a 100% recyclable metal and can go from the recycling bin back to the store shelf in 60 days.
- The EPA estimates that recycling one ton of aluminum saves the equivalent of almost 32 barrels of oil.
- A report by the EPA states that recycling plastics uses roughly 10% of the energy that it takes to make a pound of plastic from virgin materials.
- According to the Glass Packaging Institute, recycled glass reduces emissions and consumption of raw materials, extends the life of plant equipment, such as furnaces, and saves energy. Glass is also 100% recyclable and can be recycled infinitely without loss in quality or purity.
- Indiana Recycling Coalition has data indicating that, on average, recycling creates 10 times more jobs than sending waste to the landfill.
- And let’s not ignore the obvious: If a recycling truck is going down your street, the more materials they pick up, the more efficient the entire process becomes.
Perhaps you could share the Make Change Indy program with your neighbors to encourage a behavior change. Every step toward sustainability, small or large, counts!
(NOTE: This letter appeared in NUVO on Sept. 30, 2015.)