Let's Clean Up Our Act!
Recycle At	Find out if there is a recycling program in
Home!	your community.
Sjlf so, participate in the program by separating
recyclables and taking them to your local
drop-off or buy-back center or put them out
for curbside pickup.
J Don't throw away what you can use again—
plastic containers can be used many times.
J Compost yard cuttings and leaves.
If you change your own auto oil, take it to a
local service station or recycling center.
Shop Smarter! Avoid buying overpackaged products.
Buy products in containers that are recycled in
your community, and things that can be
repaired or reused.
Look for a recycling symbol on m A
products you buy. Such symbols *i|r
identify recycled or recyclable products.
3Support recycling markets by buying products
made from recycled material.
Get Involved! ^QGet involved in planning for your state and
local solid waste management.
Inform government officials about the benefits
of recycling.
3 Encourage state and local governments and
businesses to recycle and to buy recycled
material or recyclables.
Q Participate in or start a voluntary recycling
program with a local college, church, union,
or community service organization.
Organize a recycling program where you work.
Help to create new markets for recyclables.
How To Start! Call the EPA Solid Waste Hotline at
1-800-424-9346 (in D.C., 382-3000) for
additional information on how to contact
recycling coordinators in your area.
Or call your state or local government or local
waste hauler directly.

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United States	October 1988
Environmental Protection	EPA/530-SW-88-050
Office of Solid Waste

\>EPA Recycle

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This brochure is primed on recycled paper.
The ink is free of lead and cadmium.


Ren tie—II Makes Sense!

The Problem Call it garbage, solid waste, refuse, trash! It's the
waste we produce in our homes and businesses.
We throw it into cans and put in out for pickup.
Our trash, plus our neighbors' and everyone
else's, adds up to a massive pile of waste. In
fact, each year our nation generates enough gar-
bage to fill a convoy of trash trucks reaching half
way to the moon. And the convoy keeps growing
longer every year!
The Solution
What's In Our
Where Does
Trash Go?
National averages show:
. Yard Wall
....... Glass
. lood Waste
What happens to last night's empty soft drink
cans and bottles? And where does this morning's
discarded newspaper go? For many years, most
have gone to landfills. Now, many of these land-
fills are almost full. This is causing landfilling
costs to soar, forcing many of our communities
to raise fees or taxes to pay the additional costs.
Landfilling is no longer the easy answer. In some
communities, the waste goes to an incinerator
that burns it and recovers energy. Incinerators
reduce the volume of waste, but landfills are still
needed to bury the leftover ash that burning pro-
duces. Both incinerators and landfills are expen-
sive and can take a long time to locate and build.
In a growing number of communities, the morning
newspaper is recycled, yard waste is composted,
and cans and bottles are recycled or reused.
What Is
Why Should
We Recycle?
Where Does
Our Trash Go?
80%	10% 10%
Landfilled	Incinerated Recycled
Because there's not one simple remedy for our
trash problem, we need to consider a combina-
tion of solutions to manage it. Reducing waste,
recycling, burning trash for energy recovery, and
landfilling are all parts of the solution. Federal,
state, and local governments are seeking answers
as they study and plan for current and future
needs. Citizens in every community need to be
involved in finding the best solutions and making
them work.
Recycling is just one important remedy for the
garbage problem. It's an effective solution
because it reduces the amount of waste for dis-
posal. And individuals like you can be part of
this solution by recycling at home and at work.
You can buy recycled and recyclable products,
organize recycling programs, and encourage your
neighbors to recycle. Just as we contribute to our
nation's increasing garbage problem, we can all
contribute to its solution by recycling.
"Recycling" means separating, collecting, pro-
cessing, marketing, and ultimately using a mate-
rial that was thrown away. This morning's
newspaper can be recycled for another morning's
news or other paper products. Cans and bottles
can be crafted for other uses.
Recycling reduces our reliance on landfills and
Recycling can cost less than landfilling or
Recycling protects our health and environment
when harmful substances are removed from the
waste stream.
Recycling conserves our natural resources
because it reduces the need for raw materials.
A National
Goal Of 25%
What Can We
What Do We
Do With Our
With everybody's help, recycling offers great
promise for improved management of our trash
EPA has set a national goal of reducing and
recycling 25% of our waste by 1992 Some com-
munities have set similar goals and are on their
way to achieving them, and others are just begin-
ning recycling programs. Your support and
involvement is essential to meet these goals. To
start, you can encourage your local government
and businesses to start recycling programs or
expand their current ones, and to use recycled
Paper—Newspaper, high grade office paper, and
cardboard are recycled.
Yard Wastes—Grass, leaves, shrub and tree clip-
pings are recycled by composting.
Glass—Bottles and jars are often separated by
color: clear, green, and amber.
Aluminum—Beverage containers are recycled.
Other Metals—Tin cans, auto bodies, refrigera-
tors. stoves, and batteries are some examples.
Used Motor Oil—Truck, tractor, and automobile
crank case oil are recycled.
Plastics—Soda bottles, milk jugs, and detergent
containers can be recycled.
Several kinds of collection programs are run by
local governments, nonprofit organizations, and
private enterprises.
Curbside collection is the most convenient way
for a household to recycle. These programs offer
scheduled pickups of separated, recycled prod-
ucts from the curb—like trash collection. Unfor-
tunately, curbside pickup is not available in many
of our communities Drop-off centers are sites
set up for us to leave materials for recycling.
These centers serve as convenient central pickup
locations for processors or recyclers. Buy-back
centers pay consumers for recyclable materials.
In some communities, waste companies buy
trash from offices, businesses, institutions,
schools, and industries.