CINCINNATI -- It's really easy just to put everything in the trash.
But when recyclables – like a water bottle – end up in a landfill, it's using up space we're going to need in the future.
Trucks unload 7,000 tons of garbage into the Rumpke landfill in Colerain Township each day, but not all of it is trash.
“If you put it in your trash can, that means you're designating that material as trash,” said Rumpke spokesperson Molly Yeager. “That material will end up in the landfill."
Yeager said cardboard disposed of improperly is another big issue Rumpke faces each day.
Recycling cardboard takes 24 percent less energy and produces 50 percent less sulfur dioxide than making cardboard from raw materials.
“A lot of the cardboard is being trashed and that's a very recyclable material,” she said. “Cardboard can go on to make new paper products, such as office paper or paper plates, or napkins and tissues."
One ton of recycled cardboard saves:
- 390 kWh hours of electricity.
- 46 gallons of oil.
- 6.6 million Btu’s of energy.
- 9 cubic yards of landfill space.
And recyclable items thrown into your trash take up valuable landfill space, Yeager said.
"More than half of the material that goes into the landfill could be reduced, reused or recycled," she said.
Yeager says there are many household items that are recyclable the average person does not know about.
One major example: pizza boxes.
“We don't want any grease or any pizza still left in the box, but the pizza box, if it's clean, go ahead and put it in your recycling container," she said.
Glossy magazines are also accepted.
CLICK HERE for a complete list of which items are recyclable, so you can help make room in local landfills and keep our planet healthy.