LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - According to the latest data from the EPA, Americans produce more than 254 million tons of trash a year, and recycle 87 million tons.
That is a 34 percent recycling rate.
Here on the South Plains, 19-year-old William Eliason is running a recycling company in hopes of encouraging West Texans to be more environmentally friendly - a family recycling business that started in 2013 that now relies on William.
"We recognized a need for recycling here in Lubbock because you have people coming to Lubbock from these big cities like Austin, Houston, Dallas, and they're all use to recycling because the city does it for them. They're asking questions like why doesn't the city recycle and so we're like we can fill that need," William said.
123 Recycling is a curbside service that encourages people to recycle in the simplest way possible.
"We want to make it simple for them because a lot of people think recycling is a hassle so they don't do it, but that's kind of where we got our name, 123 Recycling. We like to say it's as easy as 1-2-3: use it, bag it, leave it, we'll take care of the rest."
123 Recycling take what they collect to the Texas Tech Recycling Center. So far, they've recycled more than 270,000 gallons.
They also provide scholarships to local students through their partnership with Texas Tech Housing.
"We donate a portion of our revenue directly to fund student scholarships through the sustainability department at Texas Tech," William said.
123 Recycling is also collecting aluminum cans from their customers and anyone else who wants to get involved.
"We'll pick up the cans for you and then at the end of the month we'll take all the cans we've gathered up and we'll take them over to Jarvis Metals and we will get some money for those and we will donate the proceeds. For October it's going to be a Hurricane Harvey relief fund but we will pick a different charity every month," William said.
Each can is worth a little more than a penny, so William is hoping for a big turnout to continue helping Hurricane Harvey victims but help local charities as well.
"There's a lot of cans being thrown away and if we can get those into our hands we can donate a lot of money," William said.
Williams says they've already reached some goals on recycling amounts, so now their goal is to donate as much money as possible.
For more information on recycling and donating aluminum cans go to: www.123recycling.org.