Amtrak-recyclesIf you are looking for a way to get to your destination that is considerably better than riding an airplane, environmentally speaking, check out Amtrak. According to the site Train Chartering, a company that has provided private train charters to clients in Europe and North America since 1998, “A train uses up to 70% less energy and causes up to 85% less air pollution than a jet aircraft.” It goes on to explain, “Aircraft taking off and landing use a great deal of fuel, producing extremely high emissions of CO2 per passenger; short 1 hour flights have the greatest environmental impact. Intercity trains are easiest on the environment for the equivalent journey.” Amtrak is in the process of making its carbon footprint even smaller by continuing to make recycling waste and reusing materials part of its business as usual. For example, every coach and sleeper on the Auto Train has at least one recycling container. In 2009, Amtrak was recycling more than 5 tons of bottles, cans and paper each month. And, by 2010, all café and lounge cars throughout the company’s system had recycling bins for plastic bottles, glass bottles and aluminum cans. In 2011, Amtrak conducted a survey of recyclable items and trash removed from a sampling of train endpoints to make sure it was providing adequate waste receptacles. As a result, Amtrak is currently finding ways to increase its recycling capacity. Some ways Amtrak plans to achieve this goal is by reducing the packaging of foodservice items sold on the trains, installing more permanent receptacles or using a commingled waste stream. Amtrak’s engineering and mechanical facilities recycle a number of materials, including steel parts, scrap metal, metal turnings, cable and wire, used oil, batteries, concrete and wood railroad ties, textiles and mattress foam. In 2008 alone, Amtrak recycled more than 9,800 tons of steel parts and scrap, 90 tons of wire, 225,000 gallons of used oil and 300,000 pounds of paper from these facilities. Lastly, public recycling receptacles are being added where possible in Amtrak-owned station concourses and food courts. To learn more about Amtrak’s efforts to be a more sustainable travel option, visit Prefer to travel by air? See how Alaska Airlines is recycling in flight.