Earth Minute

excerpt from OPAL Update Volume 1 April 2012 submitted by Erica Veitch-Nancekivell

The average Oxford resident throws out a bag of garbage each week that contains 1/3 recyclables, 1/3 compostables and 1/3 actual trash. Let's rethink the items we're sending to the landfill.

Here's what happens to the stuff you recycle:

Did you know?

Office Paper:

• The average office worker generates about 73 kg of waste each year
• 80% of that waste is recyclable paper products

Cardboard

• Cardboard boxes can contain up to 100% recycled fibres

Newspaper

• About 40,000 trees are cut down each day to produce the newsprint for Canada’s daily papers
• Recycling newspapers and magazines reduces the need for mining clay soils, which is used to make newsprint pulp

Plastics

• Plastics take about 400 years to break down in a landfill
• Most plastic containers have a code on the bottom that tells you what type of plastic it is

Glass

• It takes one million years for a glass bottle to break down in a landfill

Aluminum

• Recycling one aluminum can, saves enough energy to run a television for 3 hours
• Aluminum takes 500 years to break down in a landfill

Steel (tin) cans

• When recovered steel is used instead of iron ore to make new steel, water consumption is reduced by 50%

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