Recycling Facts

PAPER

  • In 2008, the amount of paper recovered for recycling averaged 340 pounds for every person in the U.S. (Earth911.com)
  • 1 ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees.
  • More than 56 percent of the paper consumed in the U.S. during 2007 was recovered for recycling — an all-time high. This impressive figure equals nearly 360 pounds of paper for each man, woman, and child in America. (Paper Industry Association Council, 2007)
  • More than 400 paper mills in the United States use at least some recovered materials in their manufacturing processes, and more than 200 of those mills use recovered fiber exclusively. (EPA, 2008)
  • Every ton of paper recycled saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. (Earth911.com)

 

Aluminum Cans

  • Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum from raw materials. Energy saved from recycling one ton of aluminum is equal to the amount of electricity the average home uses over 10 years. (Keep America Beautiful, 2006)
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours. (EPA, 2008)
  • Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy used to make the material from scratch. That means you can make 20 cans out of recycled material with the same amount of energy it takes to make one can out of new material. Energy savings in 1993 alone were enough to light a city the size of Pittsburgh for six years.
  • An aluminum can takes 200-500 years to decompose.

 

Plastic Bottles

  • Less than 1 percent of all plastics is recycled. Therefore, almost all plastics are incinerated or end up in a landfill.
  • Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for up to six hours.
  • Recycled plastic bottles can be made into products such as clothing, carpeting, detergent bottles and lumber for outdoor decking.
  • Producing new plastic products from recycled materials uses two-thirds less energy than required to make products from raw (virgin) materials. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. (Earth911.com)