Thursday, January 19, 2012

Where we are today........

Curbside recycling in Pocatello is now a 100% participation program (everyone pays for the service but can still choose to recycle or not).  As of January 2012, nearly 70% of residential sanitation customers use the Blue Bins to recycle!!!!  This is an amazing achievement.

Next steps forward, hopefully........

Encourage all residential customers to recycle in the Blue Bins.  Tell family, friends, and neighbors how easy it is to recycle and why it is a good thing to do.

Expand the program to include businesses.  Though a few businesses (less than 10%) already participate in the city program, most businesses generate more recyclable waste than can be handled by the blue bins.  Providing the option of a 3 yard (or larger) container rather than a blue bin would encourage more business participation in the program.

Expand the program to include schools and institutions (ISU in particular) and provide larger containers to help increase collection volume.

Expand the program to include yard waste and be composted of course!  And add the collection of Christmas be chipped and reused instead of buried in the landfill.

Expand the program to include glass be crushed and reused in road building projects (city and state) and as city landscaping mulch.

We are making a positive difference in the quality of life in our great community!  Thank you, Pocatello!

What can go in my blue bin?


- Newspapers

- Newspaper Inserts

- Magazines

- Phone Books

- Catalogs

- Cardboard Boxes

- Cereal Boxes

- Frozen & Packaged Food Boxes

- Paper Towel & TP Cores

- Office Paper (white and colored)

- Copy Paper

- Note Pads

- Index Cards

- Writing Paper

- Computer Paper

- Coated Paper

- Circulars

- Gift wrapping paper that is not plastic or metallic coated

- Brochures

- Envelopes

- Manila Folders

- Junk Mail

- ALL PLASTIC (#1-#7) - beverage, food & household cleaner containers and plastic lids (plastic utensils not accepted)

- METALS - Tin and aluminum (includes foil)


- Shredded paper (collect separately)

- Plastic bags (collect separately)

- Glass

- Paper towels

- Paper plates

- Plastic eating utensils

- Medical waste

- Toys

- Clothing

- Carpets

- Tissue paper

- Wax coated beverage containers

- Cellophane paper or plastic wrap

- Foam rubber material

- Packaging materials

- Peanuts

- Bubble wrap

- Styrofoam packaging

- Styrofoam to-go boxes

- Ceramic containers

- Cereal box liners

- Containers that have contained paint,pesticides,herbicides, or petroleum products

- Strings & twines

- Strapping material

- Aerosol containers (any type)

Fun Facts

Paper Recycling

The manufacture of recycled paper requires 7,000 less gallons of water per ton compared to non-recycled paper.

Recycling a four-foot stack of newspapers saves the equivalent of one 40-foot fir tree.

The United States throws away enough office and writing paper annually to build a 12 foot wall across the country

Americans throw away more than 600 pounds of paper products per person per year.

Paper is recycled into new products such as tar paper, asphalt shingles, cereal boxes, and of course, new paper.

Energy saved: Each ton of recycled paper produced requires 4,102 kwh less energy than virgin paper

Recycling one ton of paper saves:

17 mature trees

3.3 cubic yards (2.5 cubic meters) of landfill space

7000 gallons (27,000 liters) of water

380 gallons (1440 liters) of oil

4100 kilowatt hours (14,700 megajoules) of energy

60 pounds (27 kilograms) of pollutants

Glass Recycling

Every glass bottle recycled saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours.

Melting used glass saves 35 percent of the energy required to make glass from raw materials.

Plastic Reycling

Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour!

The average American car contains 300 pounds of plastic made from about 60 different resins.

Every year, we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the state of Texas. 10% of the average grocery bill pays for product packaging (mostly paper and plastics). That’s more than what goes to farmers.

Products made from recovered plastic bottles include drainage pipes, toys, carpet, filler for pillows and sleeping bags and cassette casings.

PET bottles (soda, water) and HDPE bottles (milk, laundry detergent) are by far the most commonly collected plastic materials in community recycling programs.

10% of all households have the ability to recycle all types of plastic bottles in their community.

63% of U.S. communities have access to a recycling program that collects plastic.

Tin/Steel Recycling

Every ton of steel recycled saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal, and 120 pounds of limestone

Steel is one of the world's most recycled products. In fact, steel is 100% recyclable, which means its lifecycle is potentially continuous

Making steel from recycled cans uses 75% less energy than when producing steel from raw materials.

Aluminum Recycling

Making cans from recycled aluminum saves 95% of the energy required to produce cans from virgin material.

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television, or operate a computer for three hours.

99% of all beer cans and 97% of all soft drink cans are made of aluminum.

The average aluminum can in the U.S. contains 40% post-consumer recycled aluminum.

It requires only 5% of the energy needed to make a can of recycled aluminum as compared to virgin ore.

Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild the entire U.S. commercial air fleet every 3 months.

In 1994, 3.1 million tons of aluminum waste was generated. 2.1 million tons came from soft drink and beer cans.

Aluminum made up 1.5% of the total municipal solid waste stream generated in the U.S. in 1994.

Approximately 65.5% of aluminum containers are recycled in the U.S.

Most aluminum recovered from the waste stream is used to manufacture new cans.

The lifespan of an aluminum can is about six weeks. That means it takes only six weeks for a beverage can to be manufactured, filled, sold, used, recycled and remanufactured.

Recycling aluminum cans saves 95 percent of the energy required to produce aluminum from ore.