Enterprise Recycling

The Enterprise Recycling Program has become the model for the state, and now it's getting some improvements.

Thanks to a $10,000 state grant, a new forklift is expected to help out at the Enterprise facility. It’ll move recycled materials on to the waste transfer truck.

In less than two-years, Enterprise Recycling has about a 40-percent resident participation rate. The national average is 25-percent.

Each household receives a large orange bag to place all recyclable materials; it's then sorted out at the center.

By recycling, Enterprise officials say they've saved tens-of-thousands of dollars by reducing landfill usage expenses.

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Recycling Facts

  • Each of us generates on average 4.4 pounds of waste per day per person. In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage.

  • A 60-watt incandescent bulb lasts about 750 hours; a fluorescent bulb with 1/3 the wattage will generate the same light and burn for 7,500 to 10,000 hours in five to 10 years of normal use.

  • Recycling an aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television set for three hours or to light one 100-watt bulb for 20 hours. Recycling one glass bottle saves enough electricity to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours.

  • Americans throw away enough aluminum every three months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.

  • You can make 20 cans out of recycled material with the same amount of energy it takes to make one new one.

  • Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap Texas.

  • Americans throw away 44 million newspapers everyday. That’s the same as dumping 500,000 trees into landfills each week. We save 17 trees for each ton of recycled newspaper.

  • Americans discard four million tons of office paper every year -- enough to build a 12 foot-high wall of paper from New York to California.

  • The junk mail Americans receive in one day could produce enough energy to heat 250,000 homes. The average American spends eight full months of his/her life opening junk mail.

The Three R’s

Reduce the amount of waste we produce. If there is less to begin with, there will obviously be less to dispose of. When we send less trash to landfills and incinerators, we help protect our environment.

Reuse as much as possible. Avoid disposable products whenever possible. Purchase products that can be used again. Start using sturdy canvas shopping bags, reuse plastic bags, coffee tins, margarine containers and glass jars. Eliminate the use of products such as paper plates and disposable razors, too.

Recycle everything that is recyclable. It is important to know what is collected for recycling in your community.

What You Can Do

  • Turn off the water faucet when brushing your teeth. This simple act can save nine gallons of water every time you brush.

  • During the winter, you can save as much as three percent of the energy your furnace uses by lowering your thermostat one degree F (if it's set between 65 F and 72 F).

  • You can save 10 percent or more of your heating or cooling costs by insulating and tightening up ducts.

  • Buy a refrigerator with a freezer on top, instead of a side-by-side unit. On average, the savings amount to 20 percent.

  • Don't put anything into the garbage or down the sink unless you're sure it's safe.

  • Look at labels to avoid products with toxic ingredients that are hazardous to store and difficult to dispose of properly.

  • Buy refillables. Disposable packaging adds to the cost of foods. $1 out of every $11 Americans spend for food goes for packaging.

  • Buy large packages of the products you use often.

  • Look for products with the least amount of packaging. Avoid individually wrapped items and ask clerks not to bag small purchases.

  • Bring your own reusable cloth or paper bags instead of accepting a store's disposable bags.

  • Take a reusable coffee mug to work instead of using disposable cups.

  • Wash plastic flatware to use again at your next party or picnic.

  • Save Styrofoam peanuts and other packing materials to use for your next fragile package and ask the package recipient to use it again as well.

  • Save used gift-wrap and use it again for a smaller package.

  • Give your unwanted household items, clothes and appliances that are still usable to charitable organizations. You can also sell them through classified ads, community bulletin boards, consignment shops or at garage sales.

  • After you've read a magazine give it to someone else such as a friend, nursing home, hospital, doctor's office or the local library.

  • Let store managers know the kind of products you want to see them carry.
    If the stores where you shop don't offer returnable containers or products that aren't over-packaged, ask for them.

Source: A compilation of Web Reports contributed to this report.