Recycle, recycle, recycle! With all the hype around being environmentally friendly, or environmentally well as we would like to say, it may seem like we ourselves will end up in a landfill if we forget to sort last night’s wine bottle from a milk jug. However as much as we believe that recycling should be mandatory and a tree-hugging 101 class should be offered at Ga Southern, others may not feel the same. So how can we each do our part and recycle? And what happens to our recyclables anyways?
At Ga Southern we have an entire department dedicated to environmental wellness known as the Center for Sustainability. Their recycling program has over 600 recycling bins located across campus and are checked daily by Environmental Safety Services. In addition, they have a new program beginning this fall where students can recycle in the residence halls free of charge.
Off campus, Bulloch County has 16 staffed recycling centers whose hours can be found on the Keep Bulloch Beautiful website. Plastic bags in particular can be recycled at the City Recycling Center, Pretoria-Rushing Center, Bi-Lo, Walmart, and any Bulloch County public school. We also recommend utilizing the curbside recycling program for just an annual fee of $20.
But where does it all go? We know that recycling is good and great for the environment, and of course helps cut back on waste, but what is the rest of the story? Aside for the occasional artistic craft, there are several products made from recycled materials.
Newspaper can be reused as wrapping paper, reprocessed into newsprint, or can even be manufactured into molded flower pots.
Corrugated cardboard is pulped and blended with new pulp from wood chips. The pulp is then screened, rolled, and dried into two different types: medium (the inner layer) and linerboard (the smooth outer layers). Both layers can then create new corrugated cardboard and paper bags.
Roller sheets of aluminum can be formed into many products such as car bodies.
Despite the name, tin cans are actually steal that are coated in tin. During the recycling process, the steel and tin are separated and then used by chemical and pharmaceutical companies.
Recycled glass is simply melted down and remanufactured into new glass.
Plastics actually need to be sorted by type because there are several plastic resins that are incompatible for the recycling process. For the plastic resins that can be recycled, they are eventually melted down, and remolded into new products.
You may commonly see products in the store that will say they are recycled. Our favorites include recycled water bottles, pens made from recycled water bottles, clothing made from recycled products, and even napkins made from recycled paper! The process of collecting and re-manufacturing recyclable materials is simply just one part of recycling. Buying and using a recycled product completes the circle. The bottom line is that recycling saves energy because the manufacture will then not require raw natural resources. Recycling also reduces the need for more landfills. And let’s face it – no one wants to live next to a landfill!