Early spring cleaning for the district

This content is provided by Washington Gas.

Six months ago, Washington Gas teamed up with WUSA9 for their first sponsored Recycle Day. The Sept. 17 event was an overwhelming success, and they heard from many people that they had tons (literally) of items still waiting to be recycled at home.

To help even more old items find a new purpose, they partnered with WUSA9 on Feb. 4 for a second sponsored Recycle Day. Their Springfield, Virginia, location was buzzing as hundreds of vehicles dropped off paper and electronics for a trip to the recycling facility instead of to a landfill.

It’s a proven strategy that little changes can produce impressive results, but the combined totals of these two events have been truly staggering.*

Paper: 120,000 pounds recycled (60 tons)

The average ream of 8.5” x 11” copy paper contains 500 sheets and weighs about five pounds.* That’s more than 12 million sheets—enough to create a stack as high as nine Washington Monuments. It’s also enough square footage to paper more than 120 U.S. football fields.

Electronics: 57,000 pounds recycled (28 tons)

During this event, vast heaps of old electronics—such as laptops, phones and small appliances—were diverted from landfills. Considering that a single computer monitor can take thousands of years to decompose, this was a massive win for today’s environment and the planet’s future.

Another benefit of recycling old electronics is that reclaiming materials can have a significantly lower environmental impact than the higher energy needs of raw mining and first-time refining. For example, steel is 100% recyclable and can be recycled repeatedly into new materials of the same quality.* Similarly, recycling aluminum uses 95% less energy than producing refined metal from its original raw form while saving 14,000-kilowatt hours of electricity.*

During the Feb. 4 event alone, 19,000 pounds of steel and 3,000 pounds of aluminum were recouped from those piles of outdated electronics. Other regained materials included 2,100 pounds of copper, 500 pounds of lead, 90 pounds of arsenic and almost four pounds of gold. (If you were wondering, computer parts contain the most gold among electronics.)*

In the past six months, these two local recycling events have helped divert 88 tons of waste from local landfills—and potentially from our rivers and watersheds. Other positive environmental benefits included:

Metals recouped: 24,000 pounds
Water saved: 130,000 gallons
Electricity conserved: 518,000 kilowatts
Greenhouse gas emissions reduced: 144 metric tons

Finally, let’s talk trees! You might have noticed in the graphic above that more than 1,000 trees have been saved through these two recycling events. That’s equivalent to saving 25% of the 3,800 flowering cherry trees along the National Mall, including the 162 that bloom around the MLK Memorial.* Your recycling efforts enhance our city’s beauty during cherry blossom season and all year long.

Washington Gas thanks WUSA9 for being such an outstanding partner. Events like these underscore how daily changes can significantly reduce waste and pollution. Stay tuned for details on their next recycling day in October 2023 and upcoming Earth Day events on April 22.

Energy efficiency helps the environment

One of their most urgent goals is to help homeowners and disadvantaged communities throughout the district reduce their natural gas consumption. Washington Gas energy-conservation programs include rebates to lower the upfront cost of high-efficiency equipment, recommendations for small energy-saving actions, easy-to-install DIY measures, whole-home weatherization assistance and implementation of large-scale, customized commercial retrofit projects.

These programs offer proven methods to lower energy costs while increasing reliability and comfort.

Speaking of energy…Do you need help with your energy bill?

Challenging times can strike any family at any time. If you or someone you know needs assistance, you have many options to receive help with your energy bill: installment and automated payment plans, budget planning and more. Visit washingtongascares.com to learn more.

Washington Board of Trade

Washington Gas is proud member of the Washington Board of Trade. For 130 years, the Board of Trade has represented all industry sectors in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia. Pro-business and non-partisan, we use our tremendous convening power to drive smart, innovative solutions for inclusive economic growth and livability.

WUSA9 (Recycling Days statistics)
Lewan Technology http://bit.ly/3S4hs62 (paper weight)
American Iron and Steel Institute https://bit.ly/3EdYYug (steel recycling facts)
Stanford University http://bit.ly/3YDqrh3 (aluminum recycling facts)
PCC Group http://bit.ly/3YBETGq (gold in electronics)
NationalMall.org http://bit.ly/3Eh67dd (cherry tree statistics)

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