Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | October 16, 2008

Lawyer Sanders predicts that recycling of waste materials, especially metal, paper, and plastic, will be a national priority to reduce U.S. energy consumption in 2009-10.

In 2003 U.S. EPA identified recycling rates for certain recyclable waste materials:

 

  • Steel Cans: 60.0%
  • Yard Trimmings: 56.3%
  • Paper and Paperboard: 48.1%
  • Aluminum Beer and Soft Drink Cans: 43.9%
  • Tires: 35.6%
  • Plastic Milk Bottles: 31.9%
  • Plastic Soft Drink Containers: 25.2%
  • Glass Containers: 22.0%

In 2007, Americans and the aluminum industry recycled nearly 54 billion infinitely recyclable aluminum cans, nearly two billion more than in 2006. At a recycling rate of 53.8 percent, the aluminum can is by far the most recycled beverage container in the United States. 

However, according to the Container Recycling Institute, in 2006, about 138 billion aluminum cans, and glass and plastic bottles that could have been recycled, instead ended up as litter or in a landfill. This group claims that Americans wasted 37 billion more containers than we threw away in 2000, and 60 billion more than we tossed in 1996.  With energy conservation coming to forefront in national politics, look for a national push for recycling of materials as a way to save energy consumption.

 

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