Positive impact on the world


Recycling is one of the best ways in which we, as people, can try to make a positive impact on the world we live in. Recycling not only helps reduce pollution by harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases released into the environment through waste processing, but also reduces the need for raw materials, allowing the preservation of rainforests and other sources.

Because the world's population is growing and the demand for more products increases [together] with the production of waste, it is necessary to maintain ecological awareness. To make the most impact on your environment, it's important to know exactly which items are waste and which are for instance compost.



With an overall recycling rate of 88% in 2012, Steel is the most commonly recycled material in North America. More and more steel is recycled than aluminum, paper, glass and plastic combined. From January 1, 2016, it is estimated that 25,482,452 tons of steel have already been recycled, and this number is still increasing every day.

Derived mainly from products, including cans, cars, equipment and construction materials, steel scrap can be re-melted in an electric arc furnace or primary oxygen furnace for recycling.


Aluminum cans

Aluminum cans are one of the most recyclable materials because they are 100% recyclable and can be recycled many times 2. Transforming recycled aluminum cans into new cans uses 95% less energy than creating new ones. The energy saved by recycling a single aluminum can is equal to the amount of energy needed to run the TV for 3 hours 3. In 2015, 54 billion aluminum cans were recycled in the United States, of which energy saved corresponds to 15 million barrels of oil.

Despite the clear promise of protection offered by aluminum recycling, it is still estimated that every three months, Americans get rid of enough aluminum to rebuild every commercial aircraft in the United States. In addition to cans, other aluminum-containing materials that can be recycled include baking molds, curtain rods, foil, spray cans, and aluminum siding.


Plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles

Plastic recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles are another recyclable material. These bottles include both one- and two-liter bottles with pure soda, as well as some bottles containing water, alcohol, liquid cleansers, detergents and antacids. About 1.5 billion pounds of used PET bottles are recycled in the United States each year to make PET the most widespread plastic in the world. PET recycling saves two-thirds of the energy normally needed to produce new plastic, which successfully reduces greenhouse gas emissions and dramatically reduces solid waste production.



Newspapers are a very important material for recycling, although they account for about a third of the municipal waste stream in the United States alone. In a landfill, where 80% of used paper ends, the decomposition of paper produces methane, a greenhouse gas that has 21 times the heat absorbing power of carbon dioxide.

At landfills, paper decomposition is the most important source of methane, which means that these materials perpetuate global climate change caused by these emissions. Paper recycling reduces the amount that goes to landfills, reducing the production of these toxic greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to energy benefits, one of the most important motivations for recycling newspapers is to protect forests by reducing the number of trees to be cut for paper. In fact, recycling a single episode of the Sunday New York Times could save about 75,000 trees. Paper recycling also reduces the intensity of forest management normally required for cutting down trees, preserving wildlife habitats and biodiversity in these areas.


Further materials suitable for recycling

Other materials that are particularly useful for recycling include corrugated cardboard, metal cans, high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bottles, glass containers and computers 2. Thanks to appropriate recycling technologies, each of these materials can offer sustainable options for improving the global environment.


Recyclable materials