Got junk? Of course you do — the average American produces more than 4lbs of junk every single day. That’s approximately 254 million tons of waste each year, two-thirds of which goes straight to the landfill. How much of it could have been recycled or donated? 75%.
On November 15th, America Recycles aims to shed light on one of our nation’s biggest missed opportunities: instead of throwing unwanted items in the trash, you could be recycling or donating to someone in need. The initiative aims to promote and foster a new relationship with junk — one that encourages us to think deeper about where our stuff is going and to make a conscious change.
The good news is, as a country, we’re doing better than ever: Americans now recycle 34% of their trash, up from 16% less than 30 years ago. But while it’s easy to throw your plastics in the blue bin instead of black, our options aren’t as clear when it comes to big-ticket items (ie. fridges, TVs or furniture). The issue isn’t that we don’t want to recycle — we simply don’t know where or how to do it.
That’s where 1-800-GOT-JUNK? comes in. As leaders in junk removal, we’re your go-to for all things recycling, donating and disposing. To date, we’ve diverted over 5.5 billion tons of waste from landfills, which works out to 65% of all the junk we collect. On America Recycles Day, we want to educate our customers in an effort to get closer to our goal of 75% diversion.
So what can be recycled? In a nutshell, almost everything: plastics, metals, wood, yard waste, batteries, styrofoam, building materials, propane tanks and more. For items that can’t be directly recycled, many can be converted into energy and used for heat, electricity and fuel. We also take broken-down or damaged items to the salvage yard, where they are disassembled and reused for parts.
Often, we get items (like old furniture or appliances) that aren’t junk at all. Instead of taking this stuff to landfills, we donate it to local charities nationwide. If you’re unsure if your stuff can be recycled or not, your local 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise can help you sort and organize your items, and dispose of it appropriately. They can also responsibly take care of hazardous materials (such as e-waste and freon).
This America Recycles Day is on November 15. We challenge you to think before you throw away. Ask yourself, is this really junk? Or could it be given second life through recycling or donating?