Recycling is the process of taking a product at the end of its useful life and using all or part of it to make another product. The internationally recognized symbol for recycling includes three arrows moving in a triangle. Each arrow represents a different part of the recycling process, from collection to re-manufacture to resale. Recycling reduces our waste sent to landfills, and making new products out of recycled ones reduces the amount of energy needed in production. The U.S. EPA estimates that 75 percent of our waste is recyclable, which goes well beyond what you toss in your recycling bin at home or at school. Recycling serves two key purposes:
It keeps valuable material such as aluminum and paper out of landfills, so this material can be reused in other forms and not wasted.
It prevents hazardous materials and chemicals such as lead and mercury from ending up in landfills, which can contaminate soil and leach into our drinking water.