America Recycles Day
As America Recycles Day approaches, it’s important to think about the value of recycling in our lives. Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. This practice is extremely beneficial for environmental health, sustainability, and reducing waste. Recycling can reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators, conserve natural resources, increase economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials. In addition, it prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials and helps us save energy. Sounds great, right?
Did you know that everyday products like building materials, construction paper, kitty litter, countertops, and paper plates are routinely made from recycled materials?
Knowing the benefits of recycling is important, but it’s equally valuable that we know how to participate, especially at UVA. Some basic rules are to recycle clean materials, keep food and liquid out of your recycling, and avoid loose plastic bags. That means that you must clean all food out of your plastic and paper containers before placing them in the recycling bin.
At UVA, aluminum (and other metals), cardboard, electronics, glass, plastics (#1-7),white, and mixed office paper are routinely collected. For people living on grounds, most buildings, dorms, and dining halls have recycling bins that you can use. However, for people living off grounds, it’s likely that an outside facility must be used. McIntire Recycling Center, located in North Downtown, is a center used by many students and Charlottesville residents. Another option for off grounds students is to use City of Charlottesville, Time Disposal, County Waste, and Republic Services single stream recycling containers. Once recycled products are collected, they go to transfer centers to be sorted, then a clean material recovery facility, and passed along to processors who turn the materials into new products. With America Recycles Day coming up, we should keep in mind the environmental benefits of recycling and how we can play a role in the process!