WHY RECYCLE? SAVES LANDFILL SPACE - Landfills are obsolete, expensive, and space for landfills is running out SAVES ENERGY – Less non-renewable energy is used to make products from recyclables than from virgin material SAVES MONEY – Recycling is less expensive than landfill disposal SAVES THE ENVIRONMENT - Recycling reduces highway litter, air/water pollution, and our carbon footprint BENEFITS OUR COMMUNITIES - Recycling creates more jobs than landfill disposal, promotes social harmony, helps all businesses, and benefits tourism WHAT YOU CAN DO BUY PRODUCTS MADE FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS – It is very important that recycled paper include “post-consumer” content. Postconsumer waste is genuinely recycled material that is collected worldwide from consumers. Most other “recycled” material is “pre-consumer” and is simply virgin material (trimmings, etc.) that is normally used at the point of production anyway, and is not really recycled in the normal sense. If all businesses and individuals bought only paper made from post-consumer waste, 1/3 fewer felled trees would be needed. WHAT YOU CAN DO RECYCLE ALL MATERIAL THAT CAN BE RECYCLED – Especially important materials to recycle are: 1) Aluminum cans (because of the huge energy savings); and 2) Cardboard and paper (because they account for 35% of municipal solid waste). Many other materials are recyclable, and the list is constantly growing – regularly check to see what you can recycle. In advanced recycling economies, such as Germany, final waste destined for landfills has been reduced to less than 4% of total waste. In the Bitterroot, more than 90% of our waste ends up in landfills. WHAT YOU CAN DO REDUCE YOUR USE OF MATERIAL AND ENERGY WHEREVER POSSIBLE – Reduction in unnecessary consumption is even better than recycling. Instead of bottled water, install a water filter. Instead of buying fast food (which uses vast quantities of throwaway materials such as paper, styrofoam, etc.), eat at home or at a restaurant with “green” practices. Instead of plastic bags at the supermarket, bring cloth bags from home – they save the environment and are way easier to carry! Remember to compost your kitchen and yard waste if you have a compost bin – this saves the environment and gives you free fertilizer for your garden! THE SIMPLE REALITY Human Generated Waste Can Ruin our Valley And our Planet CONSIDER THIS If you recycle a single aluminum can, the manufacturing energy saved can run your television set for three hours WHAT YOU CAN DO SUPPORT LOCAL RECYCLING – Ravalli County Recycling (RCR) is a non-profit group serving the Bitterroot Valley. It is run largely by volunteers. Your financial support can make an enormous difference. Become a member and also consider a donation of your time to assist in the recycling effort. Collect recyclables and bring them on drop-off day, or hire a curbside pick-up service to collect them. Encourage all levels of government to support recycling. In advanced recycling economies, such as Germany, recycling is supported through taxation on the manufacture of products. In Montana, recycling depends largely on volunteer support, the sale of recyclables, and private donations.