Each year, Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam cups and those cups will still be sitting in landfills 500 years from now.
The facts about our consumption and disposal of raw materials is shocking and quite concerning. The magnitude of the amount of trash we throw away each day is difficult to fully grasp. The impact our stream of trash is having will last for hundreds of years to come. These statistics make recycling even more important. Although recycling requires energy and water, the amount is significantly less than what it takes to create the products using all new materials. For example, making recycled paper with post-consumer products uses 50% less water than making the paper from new materials and it generates 74% less air pollution. Paper that is recycled goes into making paperboard, tissue, insolation, and writing paper.
The recycling process for other materials, such as metals and plastics, has similar benefits as well. A steel mill that uses recycled metal scraps reduces water pollution, air pollution, and mining waste by 70%. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a computer for 3 hours, a TV for 2 hours, and a 100 watt light bulb for 20 hours. Compared to using gas and oil to make new plastic, using recycled plastic in the production process saves about 88% less energy.
Recycling really can have a significant impact on the amount of non-renewable resources, water, and energy used within the United States. Year after year, more advancements are made in the recycling process and companies are finding ways to recycle more and more things. It’s exciting to hear, but it also makes recycling confusing and complicated. The things that can be recycled seem to be changing all the time. However, recycling remains one of the most important things we can do for the environment and it’s worth the effort to keep up to date with the current rules.
Randy’s Sanitation is the main trash collector in Rogers. They offer single sort recycling which makes the recycling process easier and a bit less confusing for residents.
The materials they accept for recycling are:
The materials they are NOT able to accept are:
Contact Randy’s Sanitation at (763)972-3335 or visit their website if you have any questions and for the most up-to-date information.
Before getting to the recycling stage, it’s also important to keep the ‘reduce’ and ‘reuse’ in mind. Try to only buy what you absolutely need and reduce the amount that you buy. If possible, try buying secondhand or inheriting from friends or family for products that you can. Also, use products as long as possible. Even if it’s considered a single-use product, try to reuse the product until it is no longer functional. These days, commercial products are designed to be replaced rather quickly, which unnecessarily uses more resources and costs more money. By reusing items for as long as possible, you will save money and use less resources in the long run.
In recent years, composting has started to be incorporated into the cycle. Every year, Americans generate at least 14 million tons of food waste each year and only 4.1% of it is composted. The other 95.9% is either incinerated or thrown in a landfill. If all of the food waste was composted, it would reduce the amount of needed landfill land by 6.3 million cubic yards. Composting creates soil that is nutrient rich and results is healthy, strong plants and great harvests. It seems daunting but getting a compost pile started is actually pretty easy and it’s fairly easy to maintain. Plus it keeps most food scraps and some paper products from having to enter the trash stream. If you aren’t able to use all of the soil created by your compost pile, there are a couple of options in Hennepin County for collecting the organic material including curbside organics recycling and drop-off locations.