Recycling has come a long way. It was not long ago that you had to sort materials into separate bins yourself and then drive them across town to find a drop-off. Nowadays, single sort and curbside pick-up are more common and make recycling easier. As a result, the number of households that recycle continues to rise. Labels have also become easier to read as the industry transitions from numbers-based (e.g. 1, 2, 3) to easy-to-read labels from How2Recycle®. Recycling is an important step you can take in your own life to reduce your environmental footprint. Every material and component is different in its recyclability: •Metal Cans (Aluminum & Steel): These are accepted by most recycling programs. •Plastic: Since there are different types of plastic, recyclability varies based on material and other factors. •Glass: This is accepted by most recycling programs. •Paper/Cardboard: Paper is one of the most commonly recycled items.
The U.S. wind power industry is celebrating after reaching a new milestone in November: 70 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity.
“That’s enough to power about 19 million homes,” says Michael Goggin, senior director of research at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
There are more than 50,000 wind turbines operating across 40 states and Puerto Rico, according to the AWEA.
Wind power has grown quickly in recent years. It sprinted past the 50 GW and 60 GW milestones in 2012. Growth temporarily stalled as members of Congress let a federal tax credit expire. But now the boom times are back.
The federal budget deal, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama last week, includes a five-year extension of the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit. That sent solar and wind company stocks soaring.
As a low-carbon source of electricity, wind power also got a boost from the Paris climate change agreement and the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.
There’s plenty of room to grow, too. The bulk of the nation’s electricity still comes from traditional fuels: coal, natural gas and nuclear. Wind accounts for just a fraction of total generation.
“We’re approaching 4.5 to 5 percent of total electricity use in the United States,” says Goggin. In 2007 — just eight years ago — that figure was less than 1 percent.
One reason wind is becoming more competitive is price. “The cost of wind energy is down by 66 percent — or two-thirds