Most people throw away their trash, the things that are broken and old, and the items they do not want. Throwing them in the trash usually means the garbage collectors will bring them to a landfill. Many items should not be taken to landfills but instead recycled. You can arrange for your local government authority to pick up the items for recycling from your home. Otherwise, you can gather them and bring them to a local recycling center.
The things you can recycle
You can recycle many of the things you typically throw away. Keep in mind that other people can create new products from them.
- Office paper. You can start a recycling program in your office. Manufacturers use high-grade raw materials to make white copy paper and they can turn used white copy paper into high-grade paper again. However, newspapers, office paper, junk mail, paper towels, and cardboard usually become low-grade paper products like newsprint. It is still a better option than producing new paper products from raw materials.
- Cans. You can recycle tin cans and metal cans, but the most valuable are the aluminum cans that fetch a higher price when sold. You can recycle aluminum as many times as possible. It is a valuable commodity because mining aluminum is an energy-extensive process. It would be nice to clean the cans before you bring them to a recycling center. If you have a lot of recyclable cans, you can bring them to scrap yards in Kansas City after segregating them.
- Wood. Some designers use recycled wood as garden decking and wooden flooring. Old wood looks good as accents to gardens and homes. Laminates and other composite wood come from shredded waste wood mixed with glue. Do not forget that some people use scrap wood for fuel.
- Glass jars and bottles. You can use old glass bottles and jars as flower vases and containers of small items. But mostly, you can clean the bottles and bring them to a recycling plant. Glass bottle manufacturers melt them and produce new glass bottles and containers.
- Plastic bottles. Environmentalists and concerned citizens consider plastics as a big problem because most of them are not biodegradable. Many people throw them anywhere, polluting the land, seas, rivers, and oceans. Since plastic bottles are light, they float and drift across bodies of water. However, there are ways to recycle plastic to make them more useful. Durable plastic pipes, flower pots, and insulating materials for sleeping bags and thermal jackets are just some products that come from recycled plastic.
- Rubber. You may not know it, but there are some useful materials you can derive from recycled rubber. You can use shredded rubber as landscaping mulch. Recyclers use it in rubberized asphalt, welcome mats, and garden hoses. Children’s playgrounds use recycled rubber as mats and mulch to cushion children’s falls. Fitness mats, outdoor and indoor running tracks, and synthetic turf use recycled rubber, making them more durable. Most of all, hospital floors use recycled rubber to deaden the noise and make the floors more comfortable for walking and standing.
As you can see, recycling provides many benefits, and most of the things you normally throw away can now be put to good use.