Paper made from virgin materials – trees – uses much more energy in processing, makes more toxins, and uses more water.
Every ton of paper recovered from the waste stream and recycled:
- saves 7,000 gallons of water
- saves over 17 trees
- saves over 20 barrels of oil
- saves 4,200 kWh of electricity – enough to run an average US home for 6 months
Aluminum cans made from virgin materials use 95% more energy than making the same can from recycled aluminum, and:
- recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run your TV for 3 hours
- tossing away one aluminum can wastes as much gas as it would take to fill that can
- two-thirds of all the aluminum ever produced is still in use today, due to recycling
- a used aluminum can can be back on the store shelf in as little as 60 days
Massachusetts residents recycle over 500,000 tons per year. More than 1,400 Massachusetts businesses collect, process, and use recyclables to manufacture new products. Clark recycles over 200 tons per year, plus another 200+ tons diverted from landfill in compost, electronics and other materials.
Glass is infinitely recyclable. Over 90% of the windows and bottles made in the US today are made from recycled content.
Cardboard is a valuable commodity, trading on markets for up to $200 per ton. Cardboard makes more cardboard. Boxboard – the thin cardboard in cereal boxes and other packaging – makes more boxboard with the addition of newspaper.
Single-stream recycling looks good on paper, especially for those who struggle to get recycling rates up without supporting infrastructure, like a recycling center. But even the most modern single-stream facilities cannot do a ‘clean harvest’ of many of the recyclable materials that come through, largely due to contamination from food and moisture. Much of what results from single-stream facilities is not returned to the re-manufacturing of new products.