Western Recycling: Repurposing Can Mean More Jobs, Smaller Landfill

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Western Recycling: Repurposing Can Mean More Jobs, Smaller Landfill

By Danielle Willey
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Western Recycling: Repurposing Can Mean More Jobs, Smaller Landfill | Read: http://3bl.me/g7e6dw via @IdahoPressTrib @RepublicService
Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 11:45am

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To many, it’s just an empty soda or beer can that needs to be thrown away or a dirty paper plate from taco night. Sometimes it’s just a bunch of empty boxes from the big move or old newspapers someone forgot to read. To many people in the Canyon County area, these items are just junk taking up space and needing to be thrown away. But to anyone working in the recycling centers in Nampa, Caldwell and Boise, that junk is a valuable resource.

In less than 60 days, an aluminum can can become a brand new item. Old newspapers can have the ink removed and be reused for new stories. Old plastic gas cans and toys can become the next door neighbor’s new lawn chairs used at barbecues and bonfires. Recycling has been taught for decades, but those who work in the industry say residents in Idaho are still falling behind the movement.

According to Rick Gillihan, general manager of Western Recycling’s sorting center in Boise, the average household generates 25 pounds of trash a month. Canyon County was home to 63,442 households in 2014, according to the United States Census Bureau, which means 1,586,050 pounds of trash is created in the county each month, on average.

These numbers include households who choose to recycle and those who don’t. According to Anne Laughlin, a spokesperson for Republic Services, only 15 percent of households in Canyon County participate in Republic Service’s curbside recycling program.

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Keywords: Environment | Idaho Press Tribune | Republic Services | Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | Responsible Production & Consumption | Western Recycling

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