Reduction, recycling

Source reduction and recycling are the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The agency measured the amount of carbon released during various disposal methods and reuse of HDPE, LDPE, PET, aluminum and cans, and several types of paper. Results varied for different materials. For the three plastics, landfilling yielded two to two and a half times as much carbon as recycling, and incineration yielded four times as much. Recycling aluminum reduces carbon emissions, while burning and landfilling give off two to three times as much carbon as the same process for plastic. All types of paper produced less emissions than plastics. Source reduction for all materials obviously added no emissions.

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