Did You Know?
Five hundred years from now, the foam coffee cup that you used this morning will still be sitting in a landfill.  Styrofoam is non-recyclable in our region, but Americans throw away 25 billion Styrofoam cups each year.  Consider carrying a reusable mug with you when you go to get coffee, or, if available, opt for a paper or recyclable plastic cup.
 
Where to Now?
To learn where you can recycle, visit our how to recycle page.
 
To learn more about recycling in general, visit our online resources page.  There, you'll find information of all sorts, including kids' recycling activities.
 
To learn how to reduce your waste in the first place, visit our waste reduction page.
 
 
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Home » Departments » Solid Waste » We Sort For You/Recycling » Learn More About Recycling

 

 
Learn More About 
Your Recycling
 
Knowledge is power, they say.  Read on to learn some fascinating tidbits about your recycling.  To learn even more, visit our helpful links page.
 
Aluminum
 
Rutherford County residents drink about 35 million beverages from aluminum cans each year. It is against the law in North Carolina to put an aluminum can in the landfill so recycle those cans. Every month, despite the law, Americans throw away as many aluminum cans as it would take to rebuild all of the existing commercial airplanes.

 

 

 

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours. Recycling aluminum cuts related air pollution by 95%. It takes 95% less energy to make aluminum from recycled goods than from the raw bauxite ore.

 
A recycled aluminum can is typically back in the store as a new can within 6 weeks. 
 
Cardboard
 
Did you know that slick, glossy cardboard can't be recycled?  This is because cardboard is blended with water during the recycling process; the slick coating is usually waterproof, preventing the cardboard from being processed correctly.  Some of this coating, as well as tape and stickers left on boxes, can be filtered out in the process, but is ultimately thrown away. Plain corrugated cardboard boxes are 100% recyclable and tons of it are recycled weekly in Rutherford County by restaurants, grocery & department stores and residents.
 
Glass
 
 
 
 
Glass has no limit on the number of times it can be recycled, making it an extremely valuable commodity.  Most glass bottles contain some recycled content.
 
Recycling glass saves significant amounts of energy compared to making glass from sand, the raw material. Recycling 12 bottles is equivalent to running a TV for 3 hours. 
 
Paper
 
In the United States, it takes 500,000 trees to produce our Sunday newspapers. To produce newspaper from recycled newsprint rather than virgin pulp requires 50% less water and energy and causes 74% less air pollution.
 
Americans receive almost 4 million tons of junk mail a year and 44% of it is never opened.  If you receive junk mail, look closely and figure out how to unsubscribe.
 
Everyday US businesses generate enough paper to circle the earth 20 times.  Every ton of paper recycled saves approximately 17 trees.
 
Plastic

 

 

More than 2.4 billion pounds of plastic bottles were recycled in 2008. Although the amount of plastic bottles recycled in the U.S. has grown every year since 1990, the actual recycling rate remains steady at around 27 percent.  As of October, 2009, it is illegal in North Carolina to send plastic bottles to the landfill.

Plastic Bottles