During the 10 years that I have been the Recycling Educator of Fillmore County, a lot of recycling and environmental information has appeared on the computer as well as printed material on my desk. In the next several 101 articles, I will share some of the information I have collected. A lot has been compiled by Oberlin College of Ohio and the MPCA. Other environmental groups like the Green Guardian, the Recycling Association of Minnesota, Recycle MORE Minnesota, and many other organizations have shared information with me, as well.
I am going to write this in paragraph form to save space even though, more likely than not, some of the information in the paragraph has little to do with the rest of the paragraph. It is just a collection of a bunch of information.
A ton of recycled oil filters produces 1,700 pounds of high quality steel. An average American uses about 600 pounds of paper each year. Americans use one hundred million steel cans each day. If every household recycled one out of every ten plastic bottles it uses, two hundred million pounds of plastic would be kept out landfills every year.
About 150 years ago, there was a shortage of garbage trucks in large cities. Thousands of hogs roamed the streets and alleys eating the garbage. Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink wrap the state of Texas. If each member of a family of four takes a five-minute shower each day, using 700 gallons of water every week, this amount of water is equivalent to a three year supply of drinking water for one person.
Washing machines use up to 60 gallons of water per cycle. One half billion phone books are delivered throughout the United States each year. Six hundred fifty tons of phone books are landfilled each year. For several years, Minnesota law has required all telephone directories to be recycled. You can correctly dispose of 100 pounds of landfill garbage for $5.00 at the Fillmore County Resource Recovery Center.
The average American produces nearly five pounds of garbage each day. Neither the Fillmore County Resource Recovery Center nor the Fillmore County Recycling Center will accept burn barrels for disposal. A lot of city tap water from a kitchen faucet or drinking fountain is much purer and much cheaper than bottled water. Twenty-five billion (25,000,000,000) Styrofoam cups are used and landfilled each year.
There is a container at the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office available 24 hours a day, where you can properly dispose of outdated and unwanted drugs and medicine. The United States generates 48 million tons of food waste each year. That is equivalent to a little over one hundred pounds per person. One-fourth of this food waste occurs between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Seventeen percent of landfill garbage is kitchen waste.