Environmental Benefits of Paper Shredding

environmental benefits of recycling

Environmental Benefits of Paper Shredding

We all understand the environmental benefits of recycling. Collecting and reusing materials that would have otherwise been thrown in the trash helps the environment. However, some people are hesitant to recycle because they don’t understand the rules and regulations behind it. Can I recycle this? What if I don’t have a recycling bin at my home?

Greenway’s recycling service is simple – the paper products collected are destroyed and then sent to paper mills to be recycled into usable products. But, besides simplicity, consider the number of environmental benefits associated with recycling.

Benefit # 1: Less Waste for Landfills

The most widely known benefit of recycling is the reduction of waste that is sent to landfills. One ton of recycled paper frees up 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space – and Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper per year. For the record, that’s A LOT of cubic yards of landfill space.

Along with being unsightly, landfills can cause problems for the neighboring areas. The EPA found that landfill are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions. In addition, landfills can give off other potentially harmful (and smelly) gases that permeate surrounding areas and can cause serious health problems. With paper usage increasing, recycling is one great way to reduce paper products that are sent to landfills to rot and decay.

Benefit # 2: Less Energy Being Used

It takes less energy to recycle than it does to create products out of brand-new materials. This reduction in energy use can decrease harmful greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, making one ton of paper out of recycled products rather than out of original materials can save enough energy to power the average American home for 6 months. To put this into a tangible number, that means that each ton of recycled paper saves 4,000 kilowatts of energy – representing a 64% energy savings.

Less expelled energy also means saved nonrenewable resources such as natural gas and coal.  Currently, nonrenewable energy makes up 85% of the energy used on earth, with the most popular form of nonrenewable energy being from oil. The utilization of nonrenewable resources can negatively affect the environment in two ways: the rate at which we are using these resources is not sustainable and a majority of nonrenewable energy resources product carbon dioxide as a biproduct. This carbon dioxide is one of the main causes of climate change.

The simple act of recycling paper can help reduce these negative environmental effects from the use of nonrenewable resources to a more sustainable and manageable level.

Benefit # 3: Save the Trees!

It takes trees to make paper – 17 trees to make one ton of paper, to be exact. As mentioned before, Americans use over 80 million tons of paper a year. That equates to quite a lot of trees. Along with being an important part of the habitats for a variety of wildlife, trees also have many other environmental advantages.

Trees can help improve air quality by absorbing odors and pollutant gases including nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and ozone. Plus, while absorbing these harmful pollutants, trees provide oxygen. In fact, in one year, an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people. In addition, trees can help prevent soil erosion on hillsides and slopes, making them an important part of Earth’s ecosystem. Reducing the destruction of trees can have a wide variety of positive impacts on our environment.

Be Part of the Recycling Solution with Greenway

Greenway offers both commercial and residential shredding and recycling services. If you want to be part of the recycling revolution, we are here to help. We understand the important environmental benefits of recycling and we are happy to do our part – and yours! When you partner with Greenway Shredding and Recycling, you can help the planet while protecting your privacy. Learn more on our website today!