Plastics recycling at Goodwill: Over 40,000 pounds each month

It’s a different type of Friday morning in the loading docks of Goodwill-Easter Seals. Ordinary warehouse sounds, such as forklifts and conversation, surround you. The dominant sound isn’t forklifts, though… it’s crunching plastic. It’s the sound of another semi truck load of plastic being diverted from the landfill.

This semi in the process of being filled with plastics for recycling.

At Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota we’re committed to helping our participants remove their barriers to work and independence, but we’re also committed to helping minimize waste entering the landfills. We’re now recycling more than 40,000 pounds of plastics per month. That’s about a full semi truck full of plastic per month, and the equivalent, weight-wise, of just under 10 average-sized American cars.

“We’re recycling more than 40,000 pounds of plastics per month. That’s about a full semi truck full of plastic per month…”

Recycling plastics doesn’t just save space in landfills, it also saves energy. According to the EPA, recycled plastics take about 1/3 the energy of new plastic to make. That means we’re saving the equivalent of more than 13,700 gallons of oil per month through our plastics recycling program.

Even if this plastic truck in our warehouse doesn’t sell in our stores, it’ll likely avoid the landfill thanks to our plastics recycling program.

Here are some interesting equivalents:

*A Boeing 747 burns approximately 5 gallons of fuel per mile, meaning you could fly 2,740 miles/month on the oil savings from recycling plastics.

*In 2016 the average fuel economy of a vehicle in the U.S. is 35.5 mpg, meaning you could drive 486,350 miles/month on the oil savings from recycling plastics.

When you donate to Goodwill, make sure you include your plastics! Even if they don’t sell in the stores, they may find new life as recycled plastic.