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Chatham Recycles

Posted on: April 13, 2022

Can Reducing our Garbage Help our Climate?


In a word, yes!

Greenhouse gases - which warm our atmosphere, make glaciers melt and contribute to extreme weather conditions - are reduced when we cut down on garbage by practicing the 3 R's - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

How so? Take soda cans for instance: to produce aluminum, bauxite ore has to be extracted, transported and processed, requiring large amounts of energy - the equivalent of 1740 gallons of gasoline for every ton of aluminum. This releases carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. In contrast, making one ton of aluminum from recycled material uses only the equivalent of about 90 gallons of gasoline. Now there's an obvious score for the climate!

But wait - there are more reasons! Landfills and incinerators themselves actually generate even more greenhouse gases through their waste decomposition and combustion.

And when it comes to paper and cardboard, the more we recycle and the more recycled paper products we purchase, the fewer trees need to be cut down, allowing trees to continue to do what all plants do: absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turn it into oxygen -- a natural "climate cooling" process.

Being a good steward to the environment and practicing the 3R's is more important now than ever…and literally "COOL!"

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