(NAPSI)—According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States recycles 30 percent of solid waste—such as food scraps, package wrapping, grass clippings and bigger items like old microwaves, sofas and refrigerators. Increasing that recycling frequency to just 60 percent could save the equivalent of 315 million barrels of oil annually, the EPA suggests.
Here are 10 recycling tips for individuals looking to make a difference locally and globally:
1. Newspapers should be saved in their own bin, as this material goes directly back into newsprint recycling. Recycling a 4-foot stack of newspapers saves the equivalent of one 40-foot fir tree.
2. Glass is recycled according to color: clear, green and brown. Recycling centers prefer when glass is separated this way.
3. Paint cans and aerosol cans are recyclable but considered hazardous waste and need to be kept separate from other metals. Leave labels on these cans so recyclers know what was in them.
4. Plastic does not break down in landfill and, because it can be reused for many diverse products, efforts should be made to recycle all plastic waste.
5. Aluminum cans should always be recycled. Many recycling centers request they not be crushed flat. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run your TV for three hours.
6. Electronic devices—such as radios, televisions, cell phones and computers—can be dropped off at recycling centers that accept used electronics.
7. Roof shingles are being recycled to make new roads.
8. Refrigerators can be given to their manufacturing companies or to recycling centers. Make sure the chlorofluorocarbon, also known as CFC or Freon, has been drained and recycled.
9. Motor oil should never be dumped into storm drains, even if it’s only a small amount. Instead, recycle the oil at a quick lube shop or auto parts store.
10. Batteries should be disposed of properly. An automobile battery, also referred to as a lead-acid battery, contains about 21 pounds of lead, three pounds of plastic and one gallon of sulfuric acid, which can be toxic if handled improperly. Interstate Batteries is the No. 1 battery recycler in the U.S., recycling more than 850 million pounds of batteries last year alone. Automobile and alkaline batteries can be recycled at Interstate All Battery Centers and Interstate Batteries dealers. For a location, visit www.interstatebatteries.com.
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