Asked in Waste and RecyclingScience
How much can you cut your energy costs by recycling?
May 07, 2009 7:24PM
This question is far too complicated to give a simple answer to. It depends on what's being recycled. For example, producing aluminum from bauxite (aluminum ore) uses tremendous amounts of electricity, so recycling can greatly reduce energy costs. However, with glass it's closer to a wash; it takes about the same amount of energy to melt crushed recycled glass as it does to melt sand. Also, since the question specifically asks about energy costs, be aware that unless you're actually producing the material in question, whether you recycle or not will have virtually no impact on your energy costs. There would be a small effect due to reduced overall demand, but this is really only significant if lots of people (and industries) recycle.