Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. In addition, it generates a host of environmental, financial, and social benefits. Materials like glass, metal, plastics, and paper are collected, separated and sent to facilities that can process them into new materials or products.

Recycling is one of the best environmental success stories of the late 20th century. Recycling, including composting, diverted 79 million tons of material away from landfills and incinerators in 2005, up from 34 million tons in 1990. By 2002, almost 9,000 curbside collection programs served roughly half of the American population. Curbside programs, along with drop-off and buy-back centers, resulted in a diversion of about 32 percent of the nation’s solid waste in 2005.

Let’s Talk Trash Blog

Let’s Talk Trash: “Wish”cycling

You’re cleaning up after dinner and come across an empty bag of frozen veggies. You go to throw it away, ...
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Let’s Talk Trash: Reusable Alternatives for Non-Recyclable Materials 

If you’ve been following along with the Let’s Talk Trash blog, you’ve learned a lot about the importance of recycling ...
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Let’s Talk Trash: The Journey of Your Blue Bag

Have you ever wondered about the journey your blue bag goes on—from the time you get it to when your ...
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Let’s Talk Trash: Household Edition, Pt. 2

A few weeks ago on Let’s Talk Trash, we talked about some common household materials that can and can’t be ...
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Let’s Talk Trash: Living Environmentally-Friendly as a College Student 

In recent years, more and more people have started to realize the importance of living green. However, it can be ...
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Let’s Talk Trash: Household Edition, Pt. 1

Household items are some of the most common materials recycled, but there are many different kinds of items and it ...
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Let’s Talk Trash: School and Office Edition 

With school starting up again soon, you might be sorting through backpacks to see what supplies from last year can ...
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Let’s Talk Trash: Bathroom Edition

The bathroom is full of recyclable materials, but it’s easy to forget to toss those items in your blue bag ...
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Let’s Talk Trash: Kitchen Edition

Your kitchen is full of recyclable materials, but there are also many items that seem like they should be recyclable ...
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Let’s Talk Trash: Postal Edition

According to the National Park Service, Americans receive enough junk mail in one day to heat 250,000 homes! Most of ...
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Don’t Trash Our Earth—Recycle!

At the park, you finish all the water in your plastic bottle and look around for a recycling bin. You ...
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