by: Leslie Jones
The term “recycling” conjures up thoughts of aluminum, plastic, glass, and paper. A recyclable commodity that may get overlooked is wood. Wood recycling, consisting both of raw wood and used wood products, as well as paper, and has become more of a focus in the past decade. We don’t normally think of recycling a natural, renewable resource, but considering the staggering statistics, it is more than necessary.
The downside of wood recycling is that some curbside recycling programs don’t yet accept wood, but by not recycling wood, we are depleting an extremely important natural resource.
“Americans throw away enough office and writing paper annually to build a wall 12 feet high stretching from Los Angeles to New York.
Every day American businesses generate enough paper to circle the Earth 20 times.
Every year each American household receives an average of 1.5 tree's growth of bulk mail advertising -- commonly known as "junk mail."
Recycling 13,600 tons of paper accounts for the saving of 231,200 trees, 44,880 cubic yards of landfill space and 95,200,000 million gallons of water.
To produce each week's Sunday newspapers, 500,000 trees must be cut down.
Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!
If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you'd get about 700 of them. A supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket goes through 60,500,000 paper bags!
The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 trees per year!
The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.
Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person.
The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.
27% of the newspapers produced in America are recycled.
Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!
The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
The construction costs of a paper mill designed to use waste paper is 50 to 80% less than the cost of a mill using new pulp.”*
The upside of wood recycling is that so many useful products can be made from previously used paper and wood. Paper, building materials, pallets, furniture, mulch and wood chips all can all be made from recycled wood. This not only saves money, but keeps more trees from being cut down to make these wood products. The benefits of wood recycling definitely far outweigh the drawbacks.
Waste-Away Group is able to quote commercial and industrial wood recycling. Give them a call today at (574) 293-3751.