Did you know the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 75% of American waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30%? And that the average American generates over 4 pounds of trash every day?* Here at the Arts Council of White Lake - Nuveen Center, we’ve recently made a concerted effort to generate less waste and recycle more! Whitehall School District has generously agreed to recycle our used markers, (Thank You!) and any scraps of paper, plastic bottles, or aluminum cans get loaded into ACWL Director Chelsea Kirksey’s car to be responsibly recycled.
Why should I recycle?
Here in Michigan, recycling soda cans and beer bottles earns you 10 cents a bottle. But what about everything else? Why should you bother to recycle that newspaper or empty water bottle? Here are some general facts about why recycling helps the environment and the economy:
- Conserves finite natural resources - this is critical as population continues to grow exponentially
- Conserves fresh water up to 95% in the mining and manufacturing process for many materials
- Prevents waste from going into oceans - it is proven, when there is a strong recycling culture, there is less litter and less waste going into ocean
- Protects forests which help to reduce CO2 emissions
- Significantly reduces use of fossil fuel energy and reduces CO2 emissions
- Recycling is a $200 billion industry in the U.S.
- Generates 7-10 more jobs that landfills and waste to energy plants+
Can I recycle?
Everyone can recycle! What and how you recycle depends on where you live.
No matter where you end up recycling, most places take newspaper, office paper, cardboard, plastics with the numbers 1-7, aluminum and tin cans, and glass bottles. Depending on where or what company collects your recycling, they may even accept more items.
Where you can recycle depends on where you live. Some cities have spots where you can bring your recycling and drop it off for free. Other cities offer curbside pick-up for an annual fee. The easiest way to find out is to visit your city’s government website and/or call city hall.
What else can I do with recycled materials?
Make art of course! Lots of artists use recycled and natural materials in their artwork. Come out to the ACWL - Nuveen Center to celebrate Earth Day, Tuesday April 23rd from 4:30-6:30 pm for a drop-in class to create your own bouquet of ‘flowers’ using recycled materials.