Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Think Outside the Blue Box. Once you do, you'll realize there is a lot more that can be recycled.

See that blue box sitting outside? Yeah, the one with the recycling symbol on it. Did you know that there are many additional items to be recycled that aren’t necessarily allowed inside that box. That’s right. That bike rusting in the garage, recyclable. Those copper wires pulled out of your 20 year old air conditioner, recyclable. The recycling possibilities are infinite when you simply think outside the blue box. 
Many people narrow their recycling focus to what the garbage man will take from that blue box plopped on the curb every Thursday. Yes, setting that box at the end of your driveway each week is a start, but it’s only a small start to a big movement. Recycling is taking the world by storm. Everyone wants to convert their minds to ‘think green.’ 
Recycling is a way to become green and begin to do your part to help the environment. Implementing an at home recycling program is one way to encourage your family to think before they throw something away. A great way to start is by getting children involved. Educate them on where to throw their aluminum cans as opposed to their banana peel. Show them that throwing away the old aluminum siding from the shed isn’t the way to go. 
Once you’ve accumulated enough material, take your children to the recycling yard and show them where their collected items go. It’s important to teach them the entire recycling process as well as the importance behind the process. Once inside the yard it is clear to see there is so much more to recycling than many people think. Piles of aluminum, rusty old vehicles and broken refrigerators are just a few items that dot the yard. All of these have the potential to be created into something new all while maintaining a healthy environment.   
Taking small steps at home will eventually lead to big steps. Even the small steps can change the environment. Realizing that so much can be recycled is an important small step in the big picture. So next time you go to throw that aluminum siding away because it won’t fit inside the blue box, remember there are alternatives that are better for the environment and profitable for you.
*If you are interested in continuing your recycling education with a recycling yard tour contact us at or visit our website,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Give it a Second Chance--Recycling your old vehicle.

Have you ever wondered what happens to old Betsy, your 1995 rusted, green escort wagon, when she has no more life to live? You're not alone. Many people are unaware of what happens to their old or totaled vehicles when they are no longer fit for life on the road. The answer to this question is simple; Old Betsy is recycled. 

Each year it is estimated that 95% of vehicles that have taken their last ride around the block are recycled. Recycling your old or totaled vehicle not only benefits your pocketbook, but it also benefits the environment. 

Recycling benefits the environment in a variety of ways. One benefit is the amount of energy that recycling saves. To put into perspective how much energy recycling saves us we look to the steel industry. Recycling steel saves enough energy to power about 18 million households a year. That’s enough energy to power households in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and part of Iowa for a year. 
Another benefit recycling provides is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases are emitted when we create new products with "virgin" resources. When we use recycled materials to create new products in place of virgin resources less greenhouse gases are emitted into the environment. 
Recycling also keeps valuable resources out of our landfills resulting in saved space, but it also prevents hazardous materials such as gasoline, oil, antifreeze, mercury, Freon, brake and transmission fluids from seeping into the ground. If an automobile were to be placed in a landfill these materials would eventually seep out into our soil, air and water, which would result in our environment being filled with these harmful toxins. When a vehicle is recycled these toxins are properly removed and disposed of in a way that protects the environment as well as us.  
These are just a few of the many benefits that recycling provides for our environment. Dropping an old or totaled vehicle off at your local recycling center is just the beginning of the recycling process. Although it may be hard to say goodbye to old Betsy, you can leave the recycling center with confidence that she will be put to good use and you never know what new products you might see old Betsy in in the future.