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Q and A on recyclable items

Keep Liberty Beautiful

POSTED: May 6, 2013 9:30 p.m.

When you toss those items in the recycling bin, do you ever wonder how much difference that water bottle or aluminum can will make?
Actually, many items can be recycled. Recycling brings many of them to life many times over.
Here are some common recycling questions and answers:
How many times can aluminum cans be recycled?
There is no limit on the number of times aluminum can be recycled. Consequently, aluminum is a valuable commodity and is four times more valuable than other recyclable materials, according to The Aluminum Association.
How many times can paper be recycled?
It depends. Materials like paper do not have an infinite life, but the answer to how many times paper can get recycled into new paper depends on the kind of paper we’re talking about. For normal printer or copy paper, you probably can send it through the recycling process five to seven times, but after that, paper fibers will become too short. At this point, they’ll need to be mixed with virgin paper or used for other purposes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Newspaper, on the other hand, already is of  lower quality. It can be turned into new newspaper or products like egg cartons.
How many times can cardboard be recycled?
According to earth911.com, cardboard has long, strong fibers and can be broken down multiple times and made into new paper products, though it will start to lose quality.
How many times can glass bottles and jars be recycled?
So many of the products we buy — wine bottles, pickle and jam jars, pasta sauce containers — are packaged in glass. This doesn’t necessarily mean glass has to be a huge contributor to landfill waste, though, because glass is another material that’s easy to recycle. Glass doesn’t lose any quality when it’s recycled, according to Arizona Recycles. Like copper, it also is more cost effective to recycle than to create new glass.
How many times can plastic be recycled?
Plastics, like paper products, degrade when they’re recycled, so they often are only remade into their original products once, according to National Geographic and the New York Times. Plastic containers and bags typically find new uses in other products. Plastic fibers can be made into a wide variety of materials, including clothing, furniture and carpet.
From 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, May 11, we will have our quarterly Recycle It! Fair at the Liberty County Health Department to recycle electronics and a variety of household items. Our fair partners — Goodwill Industries, the Liberty County Solid Waste Department, and Coastal Auto and Recycling — help us recycle the following items:
• E-waste — old computers, printers, monitors, any computer accessories and stereo equipment — will be collected. We also will accept cell phones and accessories. All hard drives will be wiped clean for your security by Goodwill Industries.
• Household paint, as long as the cans are sealed well and are not rusted. If your cans are not in good condition, add cat litter or sand to the paint, let it completely dry up, and then dispose of the items in your regular garbage.  
• Fluorescent light bulbs and compact-florescent lamps
• Used motor oil and antifreeze, as well as car batteries. Never pour these vehicle fluids down the drain or into a storm drain or just dump them. They cause severe water pollution problems. When you are storing motor oil and other auto fluids to bring in for recycling, it is essential to put them in clean, dry containers so that the fluid is not contaminated.
• Household batteries, printer ink cartridges, telephone books, hardback books and other items, like household goods and clothes and shoes in clean, decent condition. You also can drop off some of the items that Midway Middle School collects.
At the fair May 11, we are partnering with the Hinesville Police Department to hold another prescription take-back. Bring in old prescription medications and over-the-counter medications that you need to dispose of. You also can bring cosmetics and other skin and hair products.
Never flush these items down the toilet or pour them down the drain; we don’t want any more of this stuff in our waterways than we already have, do we? These types of items have a detrimental effect on our waterways and, consequently, on aquatic life and even humans. The only items the HPD cannot accept are hypodermic needles.
A special thanks to Lieutenant Reid for coordinating this event for us.

Upcoming KLB events
Saturday, May 11 — Recycle It! Fair, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or klcb@coastalnow.net.
Thursday, May 30 โ€• KLB Annual Volunteer Appreciation, 5-7 p.m. at the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce’s May Business After Hours. Call 880-4888 or klcb@coastalnow.net.

 

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