More and more people and communities are recognizing the critical importance of recycling. As the earth's population continues to grow, and we use more of our natural resources to sustain us, reusing materials where we we can makes good economic sense. It also helps to relieve the burden of ever-growing landfills.
Many people who live in single family homes have a separate bin for materials that can be recycled: paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and cans (aluminum or tin). Those items are picked up and delivered to a local plant, like United Fibers in Chandler, Arizona. There the recyclables are separated -- sometimes by sophisticated machinery that can distinguish between the materials and sometimes by hand. They are packaged into bales and then delivered to other companies who can process them in the next step in a manufacturing. United Fibers actually keeps the paper and cardboard brought in to the facility and re-processes it into insulation for residential and commercial buildings. That insulation is easier to work with and more efficient than fiberglass. Did you ever imagine that all those shoe boxes from that you recycled could be in your attic keeping your home cool in the summer?
If you don't live in an area where there is a curbside recycling program, there are still plenty of ways in which you can do your part to Reuse, Reduce and Recycle in Arizona.
Recycling factoid: A soda can thrown in a landfill instead of being recycled takes about 500 years to decompose. A plastic bottle takes about 700 years.