Some interestng facts
- In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his/her adult weight in garbage. If you add it up, this means that a 150-lb. adult will leave a legacy of 90,000 lbs. of trash.
- 1 ton of 100% virgin(non-recycled) newsprint uses 12 trees.
- By recycling one ton (2,000 lbs.) of paper, we save: 17 trees; 6,953 gallons of water; 463 gallons of oil; 587 pounds of air pollution; 3.06 cubic yards of landfill space and 4,077 Kilowatt hours of energy.
- Around 45% of the paper Americans use each year (over 47 million tons) is recovered for recycling. This is made into a wide variety of goods such as new newsprint, boxes and office paper, paper towels, tissue products, insulation, cereal boxes, molded packaging, hydro-mulch, gypsum wallboard - even compost and kitty litter!
- 80% of U.S. papermakers use some recovered fiber in manufacturing, and nearly 200 mills use ONLY recovered paper for their fiber.
- The average American uses 650 lbs. of paper per year.
- 100 million tons of wood could be saved each year if all that paper was actually recycled!
Sources: American Forest & Paper Association, Inc.; Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Weyerhaeuser
- Americans go through 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
- Since 1978, the weight of a soda bottle has been reduced by 29%.
- HDPE (#1) and PET (#2) are the most commonly recycled plastics.
- Recycling a ton of PET saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.
- Half of all polyester carpet manufactured in the US is made from recycled soda bottles.
Sources: American Plastics Council, Environmental Defense, NAPCOR
- Currently 100% of all beverage cans are made from aluminum. Aluminum cans made their first appearance in America in 1953.
- We use about 392 cans per person per year.
- Aluminum cans typically have a recycled aluminum content of about 55%.
- 62.8 billion or 63.5 % of aluminum cans are recycled annually.
- Recycling aluminum saves about 95% of the energy it would take to produce aluminum from its original source, bauxite.
- Recycling one aluminum can saves enough electricity to run a TV for three hours.
- Aluminum recycling is so efficient that it can take as few as 60 days for a can to be collected, melted down and made into a new can sitting on a grocery store shelf.
- Recycled aluminum is made into cans, pie pans, house siding, small appliances, lawn furniture; in fact , almost everything aluminum.
Sources: The Aluminum Association, Inc.; National Soft Drink Association
- The steel (or "tin") can was invented in England in the early 1800s. Nowadays an increasing amount of steel cans are tin free.
- The average American uses 142 steel cans annually.
- The steel packaging recycled in 2000 would yield enough steel to build 185,000 steel framed homes - the equivalent number of homes in Wyoming.
- In 2002, 25% of all new homes will be framed in recycled steel.
- The steel from the more than 84% of appliances (39 million) recycled last year yielded enough steel to build about 160 football stadiums.
- Recycling just one car saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.
- 95% of scrap automobiles were recycled in 2000 in the US, at a rate of 25 cars every minute.
- Through recycling each year, the steel industry saves enough energy to power 18 million homes - one-fifth of the households in the US.
- Recycled steel is made into steel cans, building materials, tools - in fact, almost everything steel.
Sources: Steel Recycling Institute; Environmental Protection Agency
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