Updated: 04/22/2014 6:44 PM
Created: 04/22/2014 6:16 PM KAALtv.com
By: Daren Sukhram
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- By itself, one plastic bottle probably doesn't mean much. But imagine if you're recycling thousands or tens of thousands of them a day ... then imagine if you've been doing that for 25 years.
“This October we will have been in business for 25 years," said Mower County recycling director Jeff Weaver.
And 25 years is a good time to look at the big picture: “Each year we would fill this room approximately eight times," Weaver told us, standing in a warehouse-like room that measures 100 feet square and 17 feet high.
“Over the last 25 years, we would have filled this room over 160 times," Jeff Weaver explained.
"The total number of tons we have recycled is just over 42,000 tons, or 84 million pounds. Over the last 25 years we've sold over three million dollars of material."
Environmentally, it's much better than the alternative.
"Without recycling all the material was going straight to the landfill," Jeff Weaver said. “And of course landfills are expensive to build, expensive to maintain."
By weight, about half of what we recycle is newspaper. And when your paper products get recycles:
"The experts say each ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees, so we've saved 510,000 trees from being cut down," Jeff Weaver told us.
And while it's still true that recycling one bottle in itself doesn't make a big difference: "A million plastic bottles does make a difference."