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Recycling Facts - Interesting Recycling Facts & Benefits

Recycling materials save energy and the environment. This information about recycling will help you to learn some facts about recycling and what you can do to help save the environment.


Do you know that we can help our environment by recycling materials such as paper, plastic, glass, rubber and aluminum cans? You might be more willing if you knew some important recycling facts .

What is Recycling?

Recycling is the process of turning one product's useful parts into a new product; this is done to conserve on the consumption of resources, energy, and space used in landfills. Would you like to know a little more recycling facts ? Read on and get all the latest facts and findings on recycling .

Interesting Recycling Facts & Benefits

Recycling Facts

  1. There is no limit to the number of times an aluminum can be recycled.
  2. Recycling a 3-foot-high stack of newspapers can save one whole tree.
  3. Rubber shoe soles can be recycled to make basketball courts and soccer fields.
  4. The recycled paper takes about 60% less energy and water to make than new paper.
  5. Recycled cans can be made into airplanes, appliances, furniture and more.
  6. Recycled glass bottles can be made into roads, tiles, even surfboards.
  7. Recycled plastic bottles can be made into rugs, jackets, fences and more.
  8. Rubber shoe soles can be recycled to make basketball courts and soccer fields.
  9. Approximately 60% of our rubbish thrown away today could be recycled.
  10. A survey was done and 9 out of 10 people surveyed said they would recycle more if it was easier.
  11. The most common products in recycling programs are paper products, cardboard, plastic, glass, and aluminum.
  12. By recycling one plastic bottle not only saves anywhere from 100 to 1000 years in the landfill but also saves the environment from the emissions in producing new bottles as well as the oil used to produce that bottle.
  13. For every one ton of plastic that is recycled, we save the equivalent of 2 people's energy use for 1 year, the amount of water used by 1 person in 2 month's time and almost 2000 pounds of oil.

Recycling Tips

  1. You can make a lovely hat out of previously-used aluminum foil.
  2. Empty tissue boxes can provide easy and handy storage for plastic grocery bags.
  3. Newspapers can be reused as wrapping paper for gifts.
  4. Plastic bags can be reused as bin liners or package stuffing.
  5. Junk mail and newspaper can be reused as package stuffing.
  6. Film canisters can be reused to store nails, screws, buttons, and pins.
  7. Unneeded printouts can be cut and stapled to make notepads.

Aluminum Recycling Facts

  • 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!
  • Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the USA, but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
  • Recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to run a TV for three hours - or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
  • More aluminum goes into beverage cans than any other product. Because so many of them are recycled, aluminum cans account for less than 1% of the total USA waste stream, according to EPA estimates. An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!
  • There is no limit to the number of times an aluminum can be recycled.
  • We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year.
  • At one time, aluminum was more valuable than gold!
  • 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!

Paper Recycling Facts

  • To produce each week's Sunday newspapers, 500,000 trees must be cut down.
  • Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
  • If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!
  • If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.
  • If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you'd get about 700 of them. A busy supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags. Imagine how many supermarkets there are just in the United States!
  • The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 trees per year!
  • The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
  • Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper is thrown away every year in the USA.
  • Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person.
  • The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most are packaging and junk mail.
  • In 1993, USA paper recovery saved more than 90,000,000 cubic yards of landfill space.
  • Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution. The 17 trees saved can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
  • The construction costs of a paper mill designed to use waste paper are 50 to 80% less than the cost of a mill using the new pulp.

Plastic Recycling Facts

  • Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour and most of them are thrown away.
  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage is thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year!
  • Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
  • Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year.

Glass Recycling Facts

  • Every month, we throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper. All of these jars are recyclable.
  • 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. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.
  • A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose and even longer if it's in the landfill.
  • 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%.

Solid Waste and Landfills

  • About one-third of an average dump is made up of packaging material.
  • Every year, each American throws out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted.
  • The USA is the number 1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world's people generate 40% of the world's waste.
  • The highest point in Hamilton County, Ohio (near Cincinnati) is "Mount Rumpke". It is actually a mountain of trash at the Rumpke sanitary landfill towering 1045 feet above sea level.
  • The US population discards each year 16000000000 diapers, 1600000000 pens, 2000000000 razor blades, 220000000 car tires, and enough aluminum to rebuild the US commercial air fleet four times over.
  • Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.
  • On average, it costs $30 per ton to recycle trash, $50 to send it to the landfill, and $65 to $75 to incinerate it.

If you are aware of the need to save resources and to reuse products , or help out so that they can be used again, then you are well on the road to recycling. Today recycling is common in the United States. Whereas ten years ago many were unfamiliar with this practice, now schools, businesses, churches, and offices, as well as homes are on the track to recycling.

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