Recycling Facts

Interesting information about recycling

  1. Aluminum foil is recyclable.
  2. On average, each one of us produces 4.4 pounds of solid waste each day. This adds up to almost a ton of trash per person, per year.
  3. We can re-refine old motor oil to make new motor oil…or keep using virgin oil to produce it.
  4. Every year we save enough energy recycling steel to supply LA with nearly a decade’s worth of electricity.
  5. Making one ton of recycled paper uses only about 60% of the energy needed to make a ton of virgin paper.
  6. Discovered in the 1820s, aluminum is the most abundant metal on earth.
  7. Recycling your newspapers at home as well as white paper at the office will indirectly reduce the demand for timber.
  8. Trees eat CO2. The more paper we recycle, the fewer trees cut down. The end result? Less CO2 means cleaner air.
  9. Composting is natures way of recycling. Composting can be used as fertilizer or mulch. You can do this in your back yard.
  10. Tin cans are actually 99% steel, with a thin layer of tin used to prevent rusting.
  11. Americans throw out enough iron and steel to supply all the nation’s automakers on a continual basis.
  12. Glass never wears out- it can be recycled forever.
  13. If we recycled just half our newsprint every year, we’d need 3,200 fewer garbage trucks to collect our trash.
  14. Americans throw out about 85% of the office paper we use.
  15. Americans use enough cardboard each year to make a bale as big as a football field and taller than Reunion Tower.
  16. If Americans recycled their phone books for a year, we could save an estimated 650,000 tons of paper.
  17. Phone books can be reprocessed and made into ceiling tiles, textbook covers and insulation.
  18. Americans throw away 28 million tons of mowed grass, dead leaves and branches every year- almost 20% of all of our solid waste.
  19. Fallen leaves contain 50-80% of the nutrients that a tree extracts from the earth. By composting them, we are helping the earth replenish itself.
  20. It is estimated that each family in the US produces about 15 pounds of hazardous waste a year.
  21. Throwing oil in the trash- even in an airtight container- is just like pouring it into the ground. The oil will seep out and find itself in the groundwater when the containers are crushed.
  22. Recycled rubber from tires can be used in boat bumpers, carpet padding and wire and pipe insulation.
  23. About 8 out of every 10 tires in America wind up in landfills.
  24. It costs about 40% less to refill a printer cartridge than to buy a new one.
  25. Most of us spend a big part of the day at work. Start a recycling program at the office!
  26. “There is no cycle in recycle until a throwaway is reused.” Buy recycled! If we don’t buy recycled products, there wont be a market for them.
  27. An estimated 2 to 3 billion tires are currently stockpiled in the United States.
  28. Six-pack plastic beverage rings are actually photodegradable. Federal law has required the rings to be 100 percent photodegradable since 1989, meaning that, over time, the sunlight will break down the plastic into tiny pieces. Recycle them with #4 (LDPE) plastics.
  29. One person uses two pine trees’ worth of paper products each year.
  30. Texas is the state with the most landfills. Do your part to keep reusable waste out!
  31. The largest component of trash in landfills is newspaper.
  32. Plastic bottles can be recycled to make paint brush bristles.
  33. Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 12-foot high wall of paper from New York to Los Angeles.
  34. Americans throw away enough glass bottles and jars in a year to circle the earth four times.
  35. Americans throw away enough motor oil every year to fill 120 supertankers.
  36. If we recycled our Sunday papers, we could save over 500,000 trees every week.
  37. Disposing of paint by pouring it onto the ground will contaminate groundwater. Find out where to dispose of your paint at
  38. Every two weeks, Americans wear out almost 50 million pounds of rubber off their tires. That’s enough to make over 3 million new tires.
  39. If you throw an aluminum can out your car window, it will still litter the Earth up to 500 years later.
  40. Over 50 percent of the aluminum cans produced are recycled.
  41. Making aluminum cans from recycled aluminum uses 90% less energy than making aluminum from scratch.
  42. Americans throw away 18 billion disposable diapers a year- enough to stretch to the moon and back seven times.
  43. The average office worker throws away about 180 pounds of high grade recyclable paper every year.
  44. Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil, and 4000 kilowatt hours of electricity. This is enough energy to power the average American home for 5 months.
  45. In the US, we throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour- and only a small percentage are recycled.
  46. The average American family produces about 100 lbs. of trash every week.
  47. An estimated 14 billion pounds of trash are dumped into the sea every year.
  48. Over a billion trees are used to make disposable diapers every year.
  49. Each computer or television display contains an average of 4 to 8 pounds of lead. The 315 million computers that became obsolete between 1997 and 2004 contain a total of more than 1.2 billion pounds of lead.
  50. Seattle intends to significantly expand its recycling programs and eventually reach a 60 percent recycling rate by 2012 and a 72 percent recycling rate by 2025. (The New York Times Company)
  51. In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage.
  52. An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres of space -- that's almost 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.
  53. Rainforests around the world are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute!
  54. A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. That's closed loop recycling at its finest!
  55. Aluminum is a durable and sustainable metal: two-thirds of the aluminum ever produced is in use today.
  56. Making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95 percent less energy and 20 recycled cans can be made with the energy needed to produce one can using virgin ore.
  57. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your television for three hours.
  58. Tossing away an aluminum can wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can's volume of gasoline.
  59. Americans throw away enough aluminum every month to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.
  60. Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the U.S., but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
  61. An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!
  62. There is no limit to the amount of times aluminum can be recycled.
  63. At one time, aluminum was more valuable than gold!
  64. Recycling steel and tin cans saves 74 percent of the energy used to make them.
  65. A steel mill using recycled scrap reduces water pollution, air pollution, and mining waste by about 70 percent.
  66. Americans use 100 million tin and steel cans each day.
  67. A little more than 48 percent of all office paper is recycled. This is used to make writing papers, paperboard, tissue, and insulation.
  68. Only about 25% of plastic bottles get recycled -- recycling one ton of plastic saves an estimated seven cubic yards of landfill space.
  69. There are a total of seven numbers assigned to plastics that identify the type of plastic resin used in the material. These numbers, referred to as the
  70. Traditial plastic bottles take 700 years to begin composting
  71. 90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the bottle itself.
  72. 38 million plastic bottles go to the dump per year in America from bottled water (not including soda)
  73. 24 million gallons of oil are needed to produce a billion plastic bottles
  74. The average American consumes 167 bottles of water a year.
  75. Bottling and shipping water is the least energy efficient method ever used to supply water.
  76. Bottled water is the second most popular beverage in the United States.
  77. Enough plastic is produced in the United States each year to shrink wrap Texas.
  78. Enough plastic bottles are thrown away in the United States each year to circle the Earth four times.
  79. Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
  80. A 60-watt light bulb can be run for over a day on the amount of energy saved by recycling 1 pound of steel. In one year in the United States, the recycling of steel saves enough energy to heat and light 18,000,000 homes!
  81. A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.
  82. Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re-refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.
  83. Recycling glass generally saves 25-32% of the energy required to produce glass.
  84. The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or a compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours.
  85. Recycling one glass bottle causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than creating a new one from raw materials.
  86. A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose -- and even longer if it's in the landfill.
  87. Mining and transporting raw materials for glass produces about 385 pounds of waste for every ton of glass that is made. If recycled glass is substituted for half of the raw materials, the waste is cut by more than 80%.