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 Why Recycle?

Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. Collecting used bottles, cans and newspapers and taking them to the curb is just the first in a series of steps that generates a host of financial, environmental and social returns. Some of these benefits accrue locally as well as globally.

Lee County’s single-stream collection program has made recycling easy and convenient for the resident because there is no sorting of the recyclable material required prior to the collection; all recyclable items go in the same recycling container.

Benefits of Recycling:

• Recycling protects and expands U.S. manufacturing jobs and increases U.S. competitiveness.

• Recycling reduces the need for landfilling.

• Recycling reduces pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials.

• Recycling saves energy.

• Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases.

• Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals.

• Recycling helps sustain the environment for future generations.

   -- Source: U.S. EPA

 Recycling Facts

Here are a few facts that impact our environment. Be aware, show you care!

  • Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees.
  • Most families throw away about 88 pounds of plastic each year.
  • The amount of wood and paper that we throw away is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years.
  • One gallon of motor oil can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of water, so dispose of motor oil properly.
  • Plastic takes 500 years to break down.
  • Aluminum cans take 500 years to break down.
  • Organic material takes approximately 6 months to break down.
  • Cotton, rags or paper take approxoximately 6 months to break down.

 

How is Aluminum Recycled?

Aluminum cans are sorted at the Lee County Material Recycling Facility (MRF), crushed and baled into 1,200-pound bales.  These bales are shipped to aluminum companies, where the cans are shredded, crushed and stripped of their inside and outside decor coatings through a burning process. Potato chip-sized pieces of aluminum are loaded into melting furnaces where the recycled metal is blended with virgin aluminum. Then the molten metal is poured into ingots that weigh more than 30,000 pounds. The ingots are fed into rolling mills that reduce the thickness of the metal. These metal sheets are then coiled and shipped to can makers, who produce can bodies and lids. Beverage companies receive these cans and fill them with your favorite beverage and stock the product back on store shelves.