Worldwide efforts are under way for cutting carbon dioxide emissions. Recycling steel, aluminum and copper are a few examples of where the energy used to recycle these metals is minimal compared to the energy required produce them. Cars, appliances and other products are continually being redesigned to allow for easy disassembly into component parts for recycling or reuse.
Other countries such as Japan and Germany are requiring that automobiles, office equipment and household appliances be designed to allow for easier dis-assembly and recycling. Japan is mandating that consumers bear the cost of disassembling items such as washing machines, TV’s and air conditioners. In May of 1998 Japanese recycling law forbids discarding appliances without first disassembling them at the consumers expense.
The Caterpillar Company is a leader in the re-manufacturing of its heavy industry sector. At one plant in Corinth Mississippi, Caterpillar recycles 17 truckloads of diesel engines per day. The engines are dissembled by hand without throwing away a simple bolt or screw. All these parts are then repaired and eventually reassembled into a new engine. The company’s re-manufacturing division adds one billion dollars to its bottom line in the process!
The U. S. opened the first recycling center in 1896. Since that time we have come a long way. However, we still have a long way to go to improve the transformation of waste into useable resources.
How Much Trash is produced in the US?
Municipal solid waste (MSW) consists of common household trash such as food scraps. packaging, yard waste and appliances. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) takes all of these things into account when compiling statistics for MSW. These figures do not include construction waste or hazardous materials.
As the trash in the U.S. continues to increase, EPA Statistic show that from 1980 until 2005 MSW increased by 60% representing 246 million tons of MSW, hat figure is 2 million tons smaller than in 2004.
For more information, please visit: usrea.org