Recycling Boom Reduces Greenhouse-gases in California

An increase in the refund available for empty beverage containers prompted Californians to achieve a significant jump in recycling in the first half of 2007. In the process, Californians decreased greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 230,000 passenger cars from the roadways for a year, according to a new report released by the California Department of Conservation (DOC).

"I applaud Californians for increasing their recycling over the past year and helping California lead the way toward a healthier environment," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "Recycling is something each of us can do every day to reduce our impact on the environment."

The "Six-Month Report of Beverage Container Recycling & Significant Carbon Reductions" shows California's beverage container recycling rate rose six percentage points, to 71 percent, from January-June 2007.

To determine the amount of greenhouse gas emission reductions achieved through recycling beverage containers, the DOC used the Waste Reduction Model developed by U.S. EPA. Emission calculations were based on the total volume of aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers recycled in California.

Each year, California consumes 657 million barrels of oil and emits 492 million metric tons of greenhouse gas. By recycling nearly 7 billion beverage containers from January-June, Californians saved the equivalent of 2.5 million barrels of oil, and reduced emissions equivalent to 293,000 metric tons of carbon related to greenhouse gas, according to the report.

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