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February 10, 2009, Volume 55, No. 21


Top Ten Reasons to Recycle

1. Saves Energy. Recycling offers significant energy savings over manufacturing with virgin materials. (Manufacturing with recycled aluminum cans uses 95% less energy).

2. Prevents Global Warming. In 2000, recycling of solid waste prevented the release of 32.9 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCE, the unit of measure for greenhouse gases) into the air. 

3. Preserves Landfill Space. No one wants to live next door to a landfill. Recycling preserves existing landfill space. 

4. Reduces Waste. The average American discards seven and a half pounds of garbage every day. Most of this garbage goes into landfills, where it is compacted and buried. 

5. Protects Wildlife. Using recycled materials reduces the need to damage forests, wetlands, rivers and other places essential to wildlife. 

6. Good For Our Economy. American companies rely on recycling programs to provide the raw materials they need to make new products. 

7. Good for the Environment. Recycling requires far less energy, uses fewer natural resources and keeps waste from piling up in landfills.  

8. Creates Jobs.  Recycling in the U.S. is a $236 billion per year industry.  More than 56,000 recycling and reuse enterprises employ 1.1 million workers nationwide.

9. Reduces Water Pollution. Making goods from recycled materials generates far less water pollution than manufacturing from virgin materials. 

10. Creates New Demand. Recycling and buying recycled products creates demand for more recycled products, decreasing waste and helping our economy.  

Penn’s Green Campus Partnership, our team of faculty, students, and staff focused on sustainable initiatives, is conducting the RecycleMania competition among all Penn schools, centers, offices and College Houses and is asking for you to play your part in helping us meet our goals. Data from the second week of activity is as follows:

Per Capita Classic: Schools compete to see which can collect the largest amount of acceptable recyclables per person­—Penn collected 1.24 lbs. per person.

Gorilla Prize: Honors the school that recycles the highest gross tonnage of materials regardless of campus population—Penn recycled 50,620 lbs.

Waste Minimization: Schools compete to see which produces the least amount of municipal solid waste (including both recyclables and trash) per person—Penn produced 5.03 lbs. of waste per person. 

Grand Champion: Recognizes the school that, based on their combined results, demonstrates the greatest achievement in both source reduction and recycling—Penn is at 19.81 percent total trash that is recycled.

For up-to-date information about the competition, campus events, green tips and frequently asked questions, visit Penn’s RecycleMania website: www.upenn.edu/recyclemania. If you have specific questions about how your school, center, college house, or department recycles, send them to recyclemania@pobox.upenn.edu.

—RecycleMania Planning Committee


Almanac - February 10, 2009, Volume 55, No. 21