Americans create a lot of trash. The average person generates around 4.3 pounds of waste per day. That is 1.6 pounds more than what an average American produced in 1960.
According to the EPA, data for 2013 showed 254 million tons of trash was generated. This was 4 million more than 2010. Trash generation is on an uptick.
There are only so many landfills that we can fill up, and only so many parks we can build over massive parcels of buried garbage. What we really need to do is recycle as much as possible. We will talk about 5 household items that may seem destined for a dump but can actually be recycled with ease.
Surprisingly, we as a nation go a through a lot of these. I think that’s a pretty good sign, we are becoming an active lot.
However, old running shoes are filling up landfills. What you can do is discard your shoes by throwing them in one of Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe recycling bin. Nike uses these old shoes to turn into a raw material called Nike Grind which is used to make everything from running tracks to shoe soles to zippers.
Americans send more than 15 million bicycles to the graveyard each year. Rather than throwing them in the dump, you can give your trusted steeds a second life by donating them to Bikes for the World. These guys collect and refurbish old bikes and then donate them to lower-income people in developing countries.
So the next time your child outgrows his/her bike, do not dump it, donate it. You will have effectively recycled and added one more good deed to your list.
There comes a time in every woman’s life when she has to discard her bra and get a new better one (one which hopefully does not cut into the shoulders). But bras aren’t something women will be tossing on the “to donate pile”. Surprisingly, Bosom Buddy Program is a recycling company in Arizona which takes old bras for recycling. They spruce up old bras and then donate them to women’s shelters or other programs.
Crocs are awesome. These are something the kids have not found a way to destroy. Crocs are one of the very few wearables that the kids actually outgrow instead of destroying. However the landfills are starting to get filled with these.
Croc Cares takes in your old Crocs and recycles them into used Crocs into new shoes and then donated underprivileged families.
Our landfills are getting quite colorful. We produce over 120,000 pounds of crayons each year.
The National Crayon Recycle Program will recycle your rejected crayons and then turn them into new ones. So far this program has diverted more than 88,000 crayons from landfills.
If all of us tighten the reins around the house, soon we will be seeing the day when all of the garbage collectors will have put the sign “used dump trucks available for sale”.