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Bottles of Water Piling Up Photo credits

In Podcast #17 the Virginia Trekkers take you to the TFC Recycling Center in Chester, Virginia (which is in the Coastal Plains region).  Recycling is very important because it helps keep Virginia green and beautiful.  Find out what happens to your trash after the recycling truck carries it away.  See how sorting is an important skill in the recycling process.  Explore the different parts of a MRF (Materials Recovery Facility).  Discover how your recycled products travel across the United States and even across the world! Come on, let’s go trekkin’!

Recycling can save a lot of natural resources, but there are also other ways to conserve:

Reduce:  In 1960, the average American produced 2.7 pounds of waste per day.  Today the average American produces 4.5 pounds of waste per day. (Source)  What can you do to produce less trash?

Recycle:  Aluminum cans are 100% recyclable and can be reused over and over again.  Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to power a 100-watt lightbulb for 4 hours! (Source)  Most types of paper are also recyclable.  Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 60,000 gallons of water! (Source) Are you recycling as much as you can?

Reuse: Use refillable water bottles instead of the disposable kind!  Plastic is made from petroleum which is a nonrenewable resource. It takes 17 million barrels of oil—enough to fuel a million cars for a yearto make the 29 billion water bottles that Americans' dispose of each year!  Plus, bottled water is no safer or cleaner than tap water, but it costs thousands of times more to produce and transport...remember, fuel is also used in all the trucks that ship the bottles of water to the store. (Source) When you think about it, even recycling the bottles costs energy!  So it’s best to reuse. What else can you reuse?

SOL Correlation:

K.10 The student will investigate and understand that materials can be reused, recycled, and conserved.  Key concepts include

a) materials and objects can be used over and over again;

  1. b)everyday materials can be recycled; and

  2. c)water and energy conservation at home and in school helps preserve resources for future use.

1.8 The student will investigate and understand that natural resources are limited.  Key concepts include

c) recycling, reusing, and reducing consumption of natural resources.

Coastal Plain