Recycling Beyond Paper and Plastic

April 28, 2017

Recycling is part of our everyday lives. A great deal of attention is given to environmental reliability and sustainability. Today, recycling is more than a kitchen table topic – in fact, it’s equally a political and economic topic as well. That said, it’s hard not to be environmentally conscious. Here are some facts1 that you may or may not know:


1.     Without exception, recycling is the top action society can do to simultaneously improve: the environment, the economy, sustainable manufacturing and to prevent waste from going into oceans.

2.     ​When U.S. recycling levels reach 75% it will be the environmental and CO2 equivalent of removing 55 million cars from U.S. roads each year.

3.     ​When U.S. recycling levels reach 75% it will generate 1.5 million new jobs in the U.S. (net).

4.     ​Manufacturers truly want these materials back to reuse in their manufacturing, but they aren't able to reuse the materials if people don't recycle right.

5.     ​The nonprofit standardized label mission is the #1 solution to help society begin to recycle right and therefore, help recycling begin to thrive. 


Recycling is big business

Recycling is a $200B industry in the United States alone. It generates 7-10 more jobs than landfills and waste-to-energy plants and properly creates valuable resources for US manufacturing – and can become a highly valuable export to countries such as China and India.


Cans, bottles and other mind-benders

Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour

Every three months, Americans throw enough aluminum in the landfills to build our nation’s entire commercial air fleet

Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 12 foot high wall from Seattle to NY – each year

More than 28 billion glass bottles and jars end up in landfills every year

Recycling 1 ton of cardboard saves 46 gallons of oil

Almost half of the food in the U.S. goes to waste - approximately 3,000 pounds per second

Food scraps make up almost 12% of municipal solid waste generated in the U.S.

In 2007, 82% equaling 1.8 million tons of e-waste (various electronics e.g. TVs, cell phones, computers etc) ended up in landfills


So what?

While it’s good to gain a macro-context of recycling, it’s also important to consider recycling efforts at the local level that aren’t as obvious. Sanford & Son Hauling and Demo does their share in “minding the environment” by recycling, donating or repurposing nearly 50% of the removed contents from their clean-out projects. Some of these not-so-obvious items include:


Scrap metals, plastics and cardboard

e-waste which includes TVs, computers, VCRs, DVD players, cell phones – most items containing circuit board or other electrical elements

Organic waste

Brush/tree limbs/leaves

Clothing, toys, baby cribs/strollers

Office furniture and supplies


Committed to responsible recycling practices, Sanford & Son goes the extra mile to ensure landfill waste is properly managed and the environment isn’t abused. Call us today and see how we can help thin out your attic, garage or basement the right way.


  1. Source: Recycle Across America