U-Cycle Celebrates 30 Years!

This year marks the U-Cycle program's 30th anniversary!

Since inception of the program in September 1986, nearly 50,000 tons of materials have been recycled.  Urbana was one of the first communities in Illinois to initiate a curbside recycling program in 1986.  In 1999, Urbana expanded its program to include multifamily properties.

The U-Cycle program has expanded significantly since 1986 when only newspaper, metal cans and glass was accepted.  Now most types of paper materials such as newspaper, office paper, junk mail, books, periodicals, folders and more is accepted; along with aluminum and tin containers, plastic food and beverage containers (numbers 1-7; except Styrofoam), glass bottles, cartons, and even plastic grocery bags!

Recycling benefits both the environment and economy.  The environmental impacts are significant.  In 2015 alone the U-Cycle program reduced greenhouse gas emissions by the following equivalencies:

- Installing 3 wind turbines

- Planting 236,712 tree seedlings

- Removing 1,944 passenger vehicles from the road

- Switching 241,670 incandescent bulbs to CFL

- Saving 842 kilowatt hours of energy

- Conserving 1,040,787 gallons of gasoline

- Conserving 21,469 barrels of oil

In addition, recycling creates jobs and generates revenue.  Disposing of 10,000 tons of garbage in a landfill only creates six jobs, whereas recycling 10,000 tons of materials creates 36 jobs.  Since U-Cycle has recycled nearly 50,000 tons of materials since 1986, it is the equivalent of creating 180 jobs in areas such as transportation and processing of recyclables!  Recycling generates revenue by selling recovered materials into the marketplace. 

Currently more than 70% of Urbana residents are participating in the U-Cycle program and the recycling rate in the City is 37%.  The U-Cycle program recycled 2,875 tons of materials in 2015, averaging 239 tons of recyclables per month.  In 2015 Urbana residents saved 9,888 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from releasing into the atmosphere (calculated using the U.S. EPA's WARM Model).

Celebrate 30 years with U-Cycle by continuing your participation in the U-Cycle program and striving to recycle even more!   For more information or to request a U-Cart contact U-Cycle at (217) 384-2302 or request a U-Cart online.


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Created on: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 10:02
- Author: CourtneyR