Recycling Facts

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Recycling Facts

Recycling is one of the best (and often easiest) things that you can do to green your lifestyle.

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Recycling is one of the best (and often easiest) things that you can do to green your lifestyle.

This collection of recycling facts is intended to help you see just how important recycling is.

Participating in recycling as much as possible is a great way for you to do your part in keeping our world clean for future generations.

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Recycling Facts - Aluminum Cans

Aluminum Recycling Facts:

Americans use more than 80,000,000,000 aluminum cans every year.

Recycling just ONE aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television for up to three hours!

Most people remember to recycle used aluminum cans - they are the most recycled item in the entire United States, but other forms of aluminum are often forgotten, such as siding, gutters, window frames, and outdoor furniture.

Approximately 36 billion aluminum cans were placed in landfills last year. The scrap metal value of these cans is more than $600 million.

In 500 years, an aluminum can that is thrown away will not have decomposed at all. It will still be a can!

Every year, the amount of aluminum that is recycled saves enough energy to heat and light 18,000,000 homes in the United States. Imagine how many homes could be heated and lit if ALL aluminum was recycled.

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Recycling Facts - Plastic Bottles

Plastic Recycling Facts:

Americans use 25 billion plastic bottles every year.

The plastic that is thrown into the ocean every year kills as many as one million sea creatures.

Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it does.

In the United States, plastic 70% of plastic is made from domestic natural gas. That wastes a lot of gas!

Recycling one ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space


Even though more plastic is recycled every year, currently only 27% of what COULD be recycled IS being recycled. That means we have a long ways to go


80% of Americans today have access to some type of plastic recycling program.

During a Keep America Beautiful campaign, more than 189 million plastic bottles were recovered from highways, waterways, and parks.

Most plastic bags and product wraps can be recycled in any local grocery store.

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Recycling Facts

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Recycling Facts - Paper

Paper Recycling Facts:

Every American uses approximately one 100 foot tall Douglas Fir tree in paper products every year.

More than 400 paper mills in the United States use at least some recycled paper products in their manufacturing. More than 200 use recycled product exclusively.

Only 48% of all office paper is recycled. It is used to make writing paper, tissue, and printing paper.

Not only does recycling paper save trees, it actually only takes 60 percent of the energy it does to make virgin paper to make recycled paper.

Every year, almost 1.5 million tons of construction products are made from recycled paper products.

To produce just all the the newspapers printed in the United States every Sunday, half a million trees must be cut down.

The average American household throws away 13,000 pieces of paper each year. Most of this paper is a result of product packaging and junk mail.

One 15 year old tree provides enough wood for only about 700 paper grocery bags. Some supermarkets use more paper bags than that every hour! Some supermarkets use more than 6 million paper bags each year. That's a lot of trees.

If every newspaper was recycled, we'd save about 250 MILLION trees every year.

Recycled paper can be used for paper towels, notebook paper, envelopes, printer paper, cardboard boxes, mulch, compost, and even kitty litter!

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Recycling Facts - Glass

Glass Recycling Facts:

Glass will never wear out. That means it can be recycled again and again.

A ton of natural resources is saved for every ton of glass that is recycled.

Americans throw away enough glass every year to fill the Sears Tower…TWICE.

Today, most glass products contain at least 30 - 40% recycled glass.

Glass takes more than 4,000 years to decompose.

Here's a good recycling fact for you. If all the glass that's recycled in one year were laid end to end, it would reach the moon and halfway back!

States that require bottle deposits, like Michigan, California, and North Carolina, have about 40% less litter than states that don't. People want their deposits back!

There are four major ingredients in glass - sand, soda ash, limestone, and feldspar. All of these can be saved through recycling.

A typical glass recycling facility can recycle up to 20 tons of glass per hour.

In order to recycle glass, colored glass MUST be separated.

18% of glass bottles are consumed at bars and restaurants. Many of these are thrown away and never recycled.

Random Recycling Facts:

About 1/3 of every landfill is made up of packing material.

Product packaging represents about 65% of all household trash.

It costs about $30 per ton to recycle trash, but it costs $50 to send it to a l andfill and $75 to burn it.

Rain forests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute.

The average American produces 4.4 pounds of waste every single day. That's about a ton of trash per year.

Styrofoam in NOT recyclable. It's best not to buy it ever.

If 100,000 people took the time to stop junk mail from being sent to them, we would save 150,000 trees every year.

Only 30% of all metal that could be recycled ever is. Hopefully this collection of recycling facts will help you to see just how important it is that we all take part in recycling whatever we can.