Reusable Steel: From structural steel to various machinery and reusable equipment, not all steel is eventually cut up, melted down and recycled. In today's environmentally conscious climate, reuse is becoming a viable and cost effective alternative to recycling. An example of reuse is the conversion of steel pipes into "crash posts" for parking lots.
It saves Natural Resources - By making products from recycled materials instead of virgin materials, Reprocessing used materials to make new products and packagingreduces the consumption of natural resources. In 2004, one State saved 1.3 million tons of iron ore, 718,000 tons of coal, and 62,000 tons of limestone by recycling. Recycling often produces better products than those made of virgin materials; for instance, the tin in "tin" cans is more refined (thus more valuable) after being processed for recycling.
It saves Energy - It usually takes less energy to make recycled products. By recycling about 30% of our waste every year, Americans save the equivalent of 11.9 billion gallons of gasoline and reduce the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road.
It saves Clean Air and Water - in most cases, using recycled cans instead of extracting ore to make aluminum cans produces 95% less air pollution and 97% less water pollution.
It saves Landfill Space - When the materials that are recycled go into new products, they don't go into landfills or incinerators.
It saves Money and Creates Jobs - The recycling process creates far more jobs than landfills or incinerators, and recycling can frequently be the least expensive waste management method. For every one job at a landfill, there are ten jobs in recycling processing and 25 jobs in the recycling-based manufacturing. The recycling industry employs more workers than the auto industry.
What Happens to Recyclables?
Glass bottles become new glass bottles.
Aluminum cans are turned back into aluminum cans, and can be recycled almost indefinitely.
Plastic bottles are recycled into carpet, clothing, auto parts and new bottles
The list goes on and on.