Another top resolution is to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Verdigris OHCE (Oklahoma Home and Community Education) learned how and what to recycle, how to reuse certain items and how to make something new out of something old by reinventing it, according to media release by OHCE.

The global benefits of recycling can help fund charitable programs, reduces solid waste and provides economic stimulus and employment.

The average American family generates 2.5 tons of garbage per year, according to the media release. About 80% of what is throw away could be recycled, reused, donated, composted or made into something new.

30-50% of the waste stream is organic. In Japan, 50% of solid waste is recycled and 16% of waste goes to landfills. In the US, 30% of solid waste is recycled and 60-70% of waste goes into landfills. In the US enough iron and steel is discard to continuously supply all of the nation's automakers.

Aluminum: It's 95% more efficient to recycle than to mine the component materials and make "new" aluminum. Ronald McDonald House collects the pull tabs from cans. So if you want to recycle and help a good cause, save those pull tabs.

Plastic: recycling one pound of PET plastic (most water & drink bottles) saves 12,000 BTU of energy. It is 66% more efficient to recycle plastic than to make new.

Paper/Cardboard: each ton of paper recycled saves: 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, 7000 gallons of water.

Steel: Americans use 100 million steel/tin cans every day. Recycling steel and tin cans saves 74% of the energy used to produce them from raw materials. 58% of all steel/tin cans be recycled.

Glass: recycling glass cuts the waste involved in glass production by 80%. Glass can be recycled indefinitely. Reuse glass containers, first, the recycle.

These items can and should be recycled, but require special handling.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs: these contain small amounts of mercury and should not be thrown in the trash. Some Home Depot Stores have drop off spots for these.

Electronics: a ton of scrap computer components contains more gold than 17 tons of gold ore. Beside the gold, computers contain heavy metals and chemicals that should not be in the waste stream. All Office Depot, Staples and Best Buy stores accept computers, monitors, televisions, etc.

Rechargeable Batteries: most electronic retailers and some home stores accept batteries from phones, digital cameras, etc. Put your zip code at to find a location near you.

Tires, car batteries, motor oil: If you change your own oil, tires or car batteries you can probably take them to a professional garage and see if they will recycle for you.

NEVER recycle these items: aerosol cans (unless the recycle emblem is on it), brightly colored paper, Post-It notes, ceramics/pottery, disposable diapers, plastic or wax coated cardboard juice boxes or cartons, wet paper, napkins or paper towels, pizza boxes, plastic cling wrap, prepackaged food bags, household glass (including glassware, cookware, etc.), medical waste or hazardous waste.

A few things we can and should reuse at least once: dry cleaning bags (use as packing material or to cushion clothing in a suitcase, business cards (use back to label storage boxes or tubs), used envelopes (making grocery lists), plastic grocery bags (take back to store, use as trash can liners, for cleaning out litter box), sturdy shoe boxes (can transport cupcakes or cookies, store photos, make dioramas for school projects), worn sheets and towels can be cut or torn to make cleaning rags, put between parts of worn mattress pad to make pot holders. Before recycling out-dated phone books cut out parts you use, put in folder and carry in your car.

Reuse of Food Packaging: plastic sandwich containers can be use again to store leftovers, push pins, paper clips etc., glass can be reused regardless of what was in them originally. However, there are certain jars that cannot be reused. Such as pickle jars or other types jars that were used for acid type foods. There are certain types of jelly jars that can be reused.

So in order to protect our environment lets think about recycling. We want our children and grand children to have a clean environment and a healthy one. It only takes a couple minutes to put recycled items in a separate bin from trash.

The Verdigris OHCE meets the 2nd Thursday of each month at the Susan Beck Municipal Building in Verdigris.

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