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Haverford College

Greening Haverford

Haverford Recycles: Recycling Tips, Facts & Myths

TipsFactsMyths

Tips Recycling Tips

All recyclables can be disposed of in the same container (co-mingling) except for the exceptions below.

Batteries can be recycled at two locations on campus:
Campus Center outside the bookstore-Bright red 10 gallon trash can.
Dining Center in the main lobby-Bright red 10 gallon trash can.

Printer cartridges can be disposed of in two ways:
Dining Center Lobby-Dark green 10 gallon trash can.
Dropped off to Sam Williams in purchasing.

Computers
Haverford students, faculty and staff members may bring their systems to Stokes 204 during ProDesk hours. IITS will dispose of your systems in an environmentally responsible way.

We charge $20 per system (or $15 per monitor, $5 per CPU, $5 per printer, and $1 per keyboard, if delivered separately) to cover our costs. This fee applies to personally owned computers.

For institutionally owned systems, check with IITS as costs and policies vary.

Visit IITS: Hardware Disposal for more information.

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Facts Recycling Facts

Following are facts about environmental benefits of recycling.

From the Can Manufacturers Institute

Recycling aluminum can saves 95% of the energy needed to make aluminum from bauxite ore. Energy savings in 1993 alone were enough to light a city the size of Pittsburgh for six years.

Since the early 1970's, Americans have earned $6.4 billion from their recycling of aluminum cans.

From The Earth Works Group's The Recycler's Handbook

  • The average college student produces 640 pounds of solid waste each year, including 500 disposable cups and 320 pounds of paper.
  • Making cans from recycled aluminum cuts related air pollution (for example, sulfur dioxides, which create acid rain) by 95%.
  • Americans throw away enough aluminum every three months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.
  • Every day Americans use steel and tin cans equivalent to make a steel pipe running from Los Angeles to New York and back.
  • The average American throws out about 61 lbs. of tin cans every month.
  • In prehistoric times, 60% of the earth's surface was covered by forests - today that amount has been reduced by 30% and is still shrinking.
  • It takes 17 pulpwood market-sized trees to make a ton of paper, or one tree makes about 11,500 pages of 8.5 X 11, 20 pound paper.
  • Each one million of pages of paper not printed saves 85 pulp trees.
  • To produce one trillion pages of paper takes 8.5 million acres of trees, representing an area larger than the country of Belgium or the state of Maryland.
  • It takes 390 gallons of oil to produce a ton of paper.
  • That ton of paper, when disposed of, takes up nearly 8 cubic feet of public landfill space.
  • That public landfill is approximately 36% waste paper products.
  • A ton of paper made from 100% wastepaper, instead of virgin fiber, saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water and 60 pounds of air-polluting effluents, 4100kwh of energy, three cubic yards of landfill space and taxpayer dollars which would otherwise be used for waste-disposal costs.
  • Today, 62 million newspapers will be printed in the U.S., and 44 million will be thrown away. That means the equivalent of about 500,000 trees will be dumped into landfills this week.
  • The largest component of trash in landfills is newspapers (14% by volume).
  • According to Clean Ocean Action, recycling a 36-inch tall stack of newspaper saves the equivalent of about 14% of the average household electric bill.
  • The average person generates 8 pounds of newspaper in a month.
  • One person uses two pine trees worth of paper products each year.
  • Newspaper pulp starts out as 99% water and 1% fiber.
  • Americans throw away the equivalent of more than 30 million trees in newsprint each year.
  • If you recycled the New York Times every day for a year, you would prevent 15 pounds of air pollution. If everyone who subscribes to the New York Times recycled, we'd keep over 6,000 tons of pollution out of the air.
  • Americans discard 4 million tons of office paper every year - enough to build a 12 foot high wall of paper from New York to California.
  • Most bottles and jars contain at least 25% recycled glass.
  • Glass never wears out -- it can be recycled forever.
  • We save over a ton of resources for every ton of glass recycled - 1,330 pounds of sand, 433 pounds of soda ash, 433 pounds of limestone, and 151 pounds of feldspar.
  • In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage. This means that each adult will leave a legacy of 90,000 lbs. of trash for his or her children.
  • Enough energy is saved by recycling one aluminum can to run a TV set for three hours or to light one 100 watt bulb for 20 hours.
  • Five recycled plastic bottles make enough fiberfill to stuff a ski jacket.
  • Throwing away an aluminum beverage container wastes as much energy as pouring out a soda can half-filled with gasoline.
  • The energy saved from recycling a glass bottle will light a 100-watt bulb for four hours.
  • Americans comprise about five percent of the world's population, and annually produce 27 percent of the world's garbage.
  • One tree can filter up to 60 pounds of pollutants from the air each year.
  • Recycling one ton of paper saves about 17 trees.
  • It takes a 15-year-old tree to produce 700 grocery bags.

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Myths Recycling Myths

  • Myth: "Recycling means more material to collect."
    The same amount of waste is generated as with an all-disposal system. With recycling, however, the waste is just separated into useful categories that can be reprocessed into usable goods.
  • Myth: "Not recycling is cheaper than recycling."
    Recycling should always be compared against disposal, since the material still must be transported off campus. "Not recycling" means paying for disposal, and disposal costs are typically much higher than the national average.
  • Myth: "Since we have plenty of land for landfills, recycling isn't important."
    Recycling has many more benefits than simply reducing landfill use, including:
    • Conserving non-renewable natural resources (e.g., trees, oil, minerals, etc.),
    • Reducing energy consumption, and
    • Reducing the pollution and environmental impacts associated with extracting resources from the earth (e.g., clear-cutting, oil drilling, mining, burning coal to melt steel, etc.).
    No community wants to be the "host" of other people's trash. The impact of a landfill is greater than simply the space it takes up. As organic matter (anything that was once living) breaks down in a landfill, it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. By reducing the amount of organic material sent to the landfill, through composting and paper recycling, you are helping to reduce greenhouse gasses.
  • Myth: "Recycling bins are ugly and cannot fit into the local aesthetic."
    Recycling bins, which are really no different than trash bins with a lid on them, come in many shapes, styles, and colors and can fit into nearly any aesthetic scheme. Recycling bins, like trashcans, must adhere to certain fire safety and sanitation standards.
  • Myth: "Someone else will go through the trash and pull out the recyclables before it goes to the landfill."
    Not true! Anything thrown into a trashcan usually ends end up in the landfill. The labor required to sort through trash after it has already been mixed is prohibitive and not safe. There are no garbage "fairies" who sort through trash and make it disappear. The only sensible way of separating paper, bottles and cans from trash is at the "source"; meaning each person separates items at the time they throw it away. At PSU, we are increasing the number of recycling bins in all buildings to make recycling easy!
  • Myth: "Only white paper is recyclable."
    Just about any type of paper is technically recyclable, including envelopes, post-it notes, colored paper, newspaper, and magazines. Some universal restrictions are waxy or thermal paper (for older fax machines), laminated paper, and food-stained paper. However, different recycling companies require different mixes and restrictions. Make sure to check the details for PSU recycling.
  • Myth: "Incineration is safe these days and you can burn it for the electricity."
    Incineration still produces emission into the air including air pollutants and greenhouse gasses. While it is true that some incinerators also produce electricity, it is not without impact. Recycling the material, or reusing or reducing its use, will save electricity and is a much more efficient way of handling the material.
  • Myth: "It's OK to throw something away as long as it's biodegradable."
    Biodegradable waste breaks down into methane in the landfill, if at all. It is usually released into the atmosphere, where it is a potent greenhouse gas. A better solution is to recycle the material, or even better, reuse it or reduce its use altogether. Non-biodegradable waste does not produce methane, but it also will not break down in the landfill, thus using more space. Composting biodegradables is an effective option.

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