Each year, larger steps are taken towards creating cleaner and more sustainable industries. America Recycles Day celebrates the advances being made to repurpose our waste.
America Recycles Day, part of the Keep America Beautiful national initiative, is today! As the only nationally recognized day dedicated to recycling, this marks an occasion to celebrate the individuals and companies making a difference by choosing to go green.
Every year, more than 130 million metric tons of material are recycled in the U.S., helping to create raw materials used in turn to make a bevy of new products. The steel industry relies heavily on scrap steel and iron — which they obtain from recycled automobiles, bridges, and machinery — to make two-thirds of all steel produced. To put that in perspective, every day, the U.S. produces enough ferrous metal to construct 25 Eiffel Towers.
Recycled copper accounts for nearly half of the amount America consumes each year, while one-third of the nation’s aluminum demand is met with recycled material and nearly half of America’s paper needs are met by the production of recycled paper. As you can see, without industry-wide efforts to recycle, there would be a massive shortage of the products we rely on every single day.
To that end, recycled electronics are becoming increasingly important as new and improved models of smartphones, televisions, and other devices are released to replace our nearly mint condition electronics. Companies such as Dell, World Computer Exchange, eBay for Charity, and more are offering creative ways for consumers to give their electronics a second life while keeping them out of landfills, and many municipalities offer dedicated electronic recycling days. There’s good reason for all the effort: according to the EPA, recycling one million laptops can save enough energy to power 3,500 new ones every year.
The Economic Benefits of Recycling
The benefits of these massive operations extend far beyond just the environment. Recycling generates $105 billion in revenue while supporting 471,000 jobs, making the industry a major economic engine. Recycling also generates $11.2 billion in tax revenue, and of the 130 million metric tons of recycled material produced annually, the U.S. exports 37 million metric tons of scrap commodities valued at $17.5 billion.
It also takes far less energy to produce the same materials from recycled items than from virgin materials. Take aluminum, for example: one ton of recycled aluminum saves 14,000 Kwh of energy. That’s equivalent to 40 barrels of oil, 238 million Btus of Energy, and 10 cubic yards of landfill space. With a barrel of oil priced at around $50, that’s a savings of $2,000 per ton of recycled aluminum created. It’s estimated that since 1972, more than 16 million tons of aluminum have been recycled, which equals almost $1 billion saved annually for the past 34 years.
Recycling benefits everyone on the planet, and when those in the industrial sector wants to run at their fullest and cleanest capacity, they should look no further than Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. Midwest offers dust control solutions to prevent harmful dust particles from entering the atmosphere and impacting the health of workers as well as surrounding communities. From products that help reduce dust on roads and surfaces to material handling dust control solutions, it’s Midwest’s mission to partner with industries to create cleaner, more environmentally-friendly operations.
Midwest’s Dust-Buster® foam dust suppressants help to eliminate up to 85% of dust emissions created during loading/unloading, belt conveying, crushing, and other critical processes. Choosing such a solution will go a long way towards ensuring your operation is regulatory-compliant and environmentally friendly.
Midwest’s solutions are EPA-approved, and we are committed to making our future as green as possible. So join us in wishing the country a happy America Recycles Day!