The Wrong Stuff (to throw away)

September 10, 2010 at 3:44 pm Leave a comment

According to George Carlin, a house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. The thing about stuff is that we don’t realize how much of it we accumulate. Or how much of it we throw away.

stack of paper

Paper
Paper, for example. Most Americans are awash in paperwork, and will find paper in every room in the house, in every office, in every garage, in every retail store and salon and even at sporting events. About the only place you can’t find paper is in the ladies room at gas stations along evacuation routes during an active hurricane season.

How much paper do we use? Several sources claim that Americans use 85 million tons of paper a year—that’s about 680 pounds generated by each person every year.

Why recycle paper? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recycling paper causes 35 percent less water pollution and 74 percent less air pollution than making paper from scratch. So recycling your paper protects air and water quality and reduces waste.

Plastic Bags
For such a handy little invention, the retail plastic bag has recently become a topic of much debate, the bag’s litter potential one of the main points of plastic bagdiscussion. Take a city of 200,000 for example. If each resident brought home four plastic bags a week for 52 weeks, each person will have brought home 208 bags in a year. Collectively, city residents will have brought home 41.1 million bags. And that’s assuming that each resident brought home only four bags a week, including holidays and back-to-school shopping.

Most folks have their favorite re-use, like the practical trash can liner or pet by-product handler, but the unused bags provide tons of raw material that can be recycled to make new plastic containers, decking and more plastic bags. Many local retailers now recycle your bags so that they don’t go to waste.

Cell Phones
Fire may have taken us out of the dark ages, but cell phones make sure we’re enlightened 24/7. A few years ago, cell phones were good for making and receiving calls. Now, we can talk, text, email, shop and find the closest sushi bar. On average, cell phones are replaced about every 18 months. A two-year-old phone is yesterday’s technology. Americans retire nearly 130 million cell phones stack of cell phonesannually. At last count, only about 10 percent of cell phones were recycled, but recent polls indicate that the number is increasing.

In addition to take-back programs at wireless provider and retail locations, many agencies and organizations collect cell phones for a 911 Cell Phone Bank where data is cleared, phones are refurbished and sent to law enforcement agencies and victim assistance programs where they are distributed to those who may need emergency communication—victims of stalking, domestic violence, elder abuse or neglect.

Phones that can’t be refurbished can be recycled. The EPA calculates that recycling a million cell phones would yield 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver and 35,274 pounds of copper. Mining for gold, silver and copper in cell phones protects air and water quality. Donating a cell phone to a 911 cell phone bank could save a life.

The next time you consider tossing some of your stuff, remember that much of that stuff is still usable. Less trash means more stash for the future.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , .

Purple Reigns in Water Conservation Potential Easy As One Collection Event in Orlando – Sept 18

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


EAO Collection Events

2012 EAO Collection Events:

No Easy As One Collection Events scheduled at this time

Visit Events Page for more information on events throughout Florida.

Learn More

Twitter

It's easy to make changes that protect the environment, make the first step and follow our blog!

Join 25 other followers

Comment Policy

We appreciate and value your comments. All comments will be reviewed before posting. Please read the full comment policy before posting.