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Here are the numbers: Americans generated 251 million tons of trash in 2006, the most recent year for which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has data. If your trash goes to an incinerator, it gets burned and turned into ash, which is used to make roads or parking lots, or is dumped in landfills.
The benefits of cutting your consumption and creating less trash include saving money, saving energy used to produce items and haul them to the dump, saving natural resources, and reducing the production of greenhouse gases associated with producing new things – and the emissions associated with disposing of them. Fifty-five percent gets buried in landfills, 33 percent gets recycled, and 12.5 percent goes to incinerators. According to the National Solid Waste Management Association, the solid waste industry employs 368,000 people. The burning also produces gases such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide (both cause smog and the latter causes acid rain), as well as trace amounts of toxics such as mercury compounds and dioxins. Trucks and trains used to move waste all create diesel exhaust, which contains nearly 40 toxic substances.

When you recycle something, the item gets sorted and used to make similar items – aluminum cans, for example, contain about 41 percent recycled aluminum.
It will cost less and additional natural resources and energy won’t be used to produce it. By purchasing items that have less packaging, you’ll avoid having extra trash to throw away or recycle. Choose things that are made from recycled materials, such as notepads and other office supplies made from recycled paper, or clothing made from recycled plastic bottles. Once you’re ready to get rid of something, consider whether it still has some useful life left in it. LoadingPrice Match GuaranteeBest Buy is dedicated to always offering the best value to our customers. Sixty-five percent came from residences, while 35 percent came from schools and commercial locations such as hospitals and businesses. Several organizations, including the EPA, have classified diesel exhaust as a probable or potential human carcinogen.

It takes 95 percent less energy to make a can from recycled aluminum than from virgin bauxite ore. Look for items that come in packaging made from recycled materials; buying recycled materials helps close the loop in the reuse process.
They also pick up recyclables at curbside in 8,660 communities and take them to 545 materials recovery facilities for sorting.
At some landfills, gas-to-energy projects capture the gas to make electricity or to replace other fuels. If they don’t support the idea, see if they can create a drop-off area where folks can recycle.

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