In nature, nothing goes to waste. Take a tree, for example. It uses nutrients from the soil and energy from the sun to grow. Leaves fall and the tree eventually dies, returning those nutrients and energy to the soil for other organisms to use. The tree wastes nothing throughout it's life. We call these processes "cycles"because they are just that- a constant exchange of energy used to grow.
We, on the other hand, generate waste all the time. We have curbside service to pick up our waste and take it away, but where is away, exactly? Generally. away means being transported to a landfill or incinerator, both of which require more resources like land and energy to maintain the process of removing material from your curb.
By recycling, we operate in a more natural way. By recycling, what we waste is cycled back into useful products. Recycling isn't perfect; it requires resources, energy and facilities to maintain. It does, however, reduce the amount of material being stored in a landfill or burned in an incinerator.
Other benefits of recycling include:
Recycled products are all around us:
- Steel and aluminum cans often contain a large amount of recycled material. It takes about 5% of the energy to make these from recycled metal instead of raw materials.
- Glass containers often are made from recycled glass, saving energy.
- Many paper products, from tissue to office paper and newspapers, contain recycled content.
- And the list goes on! Many products contain recycled material, even if they are not labeled that way.
Recycling is not the only answer to our waste problems; consider these 3 solutions you may have heard of before:
Reduce so you don’t create waste in the first place
Reuse by finding new ways to use the same product
Recycle whatever you can to reduce energy use, create jobs, reduce habitat destruction and reduce green house gas emissions.
Please watch the following video produced by MRC Member Emmet County Recycling.
Explore our website for answers to your recycling questions. If you can't find what you're looking for, don't hesitate to contact our office!
Michigan Recycling Coalition
602 W. Ionia Lansing, MI 48933
PO Box 10070 Lansing, MI 48901