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57 Ways To Protect Your Home Environment (and Yourself)
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28. Recycle Paper, Glass, And Aluminum (And A Few Other Household Wastes)

waste chart

The USEPA estimates that commercial and residential rubbish in the United States amounts to about 207 million tons a year. Much of this material can be recycled, keeping it out of landfills and reducing the amount of virgin material used to make products.

By weight, about 37 percent of all municipal solid waste in the United States is paper and paperboard. Many types of paper can be recycled, but different recycling programs have different guidelines, so be sure to check locally for specifics.

peeling potato

Because food and yard waste combined accounts for nearly 25 percent of our solid waste, dealing with it some other way makes good sense. Many, but not all, kitchen scraps make good compost.
crushed aluminum cans

Metals account for the fourth largest percentage of our rubbish. Along with beer and soft drink cans, you can recycle “tin cans.” Some communities will also collect aluminum foil, pie pans, TV dinner trays, and lawn furniture.
family recyling products

All kinds of glass containers—heavy or light—can be recycled. In addition, glass can be recycled and reused an indefinite number of times. Recycling centers will not, however, accept light bulbs, ceramic glass, dishes, or plate glass.
PETE diagram

Although there are many types of plastics, only two are currently being recycled in any significant quantities: PETE (polyethelene terephthalate), the primary plastic for soda bottles . . .
HDPE diagram

. . . and HDPE (high-density polyethelene), the usual component of milk jugs and detergent bottles.
recycled logo

Purchase products produced from recycled material. Look for the “recycled” symbol. But don’t be confused by the similarity between the “recycled” and “recyclable” symbols. When a product is labeled “recycled,” it has been produced—at least in part—from recycled materials. When it says “recyclable,” that means it can be recycled.
recycling bin

However, keep in mind that when labels use the term “recycled,” the percentage of recycled material may be very low or the product and packaging may be entirely made from recylced materials. Also, it’s possible that a package labeled “recyclable” may not be recyclable in your community.
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