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Top 10 Most Important Items To Recycle

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#6: HDPE plastic bottles (HDPE stands for high-density polyethylene, a common and more dense plastic, which is used for detergents, bleach, shampoo, milk jugs.) HDPE plastics are identified by the logo on the bottom of the container. (Three arrows in the shape of a triangle.) Check the number inside that logo: numbers 1 and 2 are recyclable almost everywhere, but 3 through 7 are only recyclable in limited areas. And don’t forget to rinse and clean all of your HDPE containers in the sink. Any remaining dirt or food particles can contaminate the recycling process.

#7: Glass containers. Recycled glass saves 50 percent energy versus virgin glass, and recycling just one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours. Recycled glass generates 20 percent less air pollution and 50 percent less water pollution, and one ton of glass made from 50 percent recycled materials saves 250 pounds of mining waste. Wow!

#8: Magazines and #9: Mixed paper. There are so many reasons to recycle all kinds of paper that it makes no sense not to. First, recycled paper saves 60 percent of energy versus virgin paper, and also generates 95 percent less air pollution. Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water. Sadly, though, every year Americans throw away enough paper to make a 12-foot wall from New York to California. Let’s work on changing that!

#10: Computers. Computers can be recycled in a couple of ways, depending on the state of the machine. Giving old, working computers to friends and family members or donating them to nonprofit organizations not only keeps the computer entirely out of the waste stream, but it presents computer access to someone who might not otherwise be able to afford it. Non-working computers can be sent to recycling centers where they are dismantled and valuable components are recovered.

Of course, there’s also reducing and reusing, and if you choose those, you will have even less to recycle!

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793 comments

+ add your own
1:11PM PDT on Aug 1, 2014

There is money to be made in recycling, so not only is it good for the environment, you can also pocket some hefty change

2:15PM PDT on Jul 19, 2014

Interesting!Thanks for the article!

9:17AM PDT on Apr 6, 2014

@d.b.: Burning plastic containers is THE WORST idea ever! "A little smoke is better"...? You can't be serious!

9:15AM PDT on Apr 6, 2014

I absolutely love recycling and I try to reduce my waste as much as possible (I use the organic waste as compost). I was not, however, aware of the differences in HDPE plastic bottles and I wonder why they should get recycled separately. The recycling containers I use luckily accept all sorts of plastic.

6:14PM PDT on Mar 25, 2014

Thanks.

7:53AM PDT on Mar 25, 2014

Thank you.

1:54PM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

Also, to those who ditch their bottles and containers after their drink or meal. It was all important when it was serving you, now take care of it, the world doesn't want to share your garbage. It always reminds me of the height of selfishness, throwing away that which no longer has a purpose to you. Your mother is not following you around, clean it up!

1:50PM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

I'm old, I don't recycle for me, I do it for the future and my descendants. Please join me if you don't recycle already, if you do-way to go!! :)

1:45AM PST on Feb 6, 2014

Thanks

10:08AM PST on Feb 4, 2014

Thank you for sharing.

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