- The United States generates approximately 208 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) a year. That’s 4.3 pounds per person per day.
- In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times their adult weight in garbage. This means that each adult will leave a legacy of 90,000 lbs of trash for his or her children.
- Recycling your home's waste newsprint, cardboard, glass and metal can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 850 pounds a year.
- The nation’s overall recycling rate has grown from 11% to 27% in the past 10 years.
- There are over 7,500 recycling programs in the U.S. and over 3,000 yard waste composting programs.
- Everyday Americans buy 62 million newspapers and throw out 44 million. That’s the equivalent of dumping 500,000 trees into a landfill every week.
- If everyone in the U.S. recycled just 1/10 of their newsprint, we would save the estimated equivalent of about 25 million trees a year.
- By recycling one ton of paper you save:- 17 trees, 6,953 gallons of water, 462 gallons of oil, 587 pounds of air pollution, 3.06 cubic yards of landfill space, 4,077 Kilowatt hours of energy.
- One tree can filter up to 60 pounds of pollutants from the air each year.
- One ton of recycled paper saves 3,700 pounds of lumber and 24,000 gallons of water.
- One ton of recycled paper uses: 64% less energy, 50% less water, 74% less air pollution, saves 17 trees and creates 5 times more jobs than one ton of paper products from virgin wood pulp.
- Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.
- Recycling one glass bottle saves enough electricity to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours.
- About 630 steel cans are recycled every second.
- Recycling just one car saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.
- It takes about 45 seconds to shred the average automobile into fist-sized pieces of steel for recycling.
- Annually, enough energy is saved by recycling steel to supply Los Angeles with electricity for almost 10 years.
- By recycling, the steel industry saves enough energy in one year to electrically power 18 million homes for one year.
- You can’t make new steel without recycled steel.
- Enough energy is saved by recycling one aluminum can to run a TV set for three hours or to light one 100 watt bulb for 20 hours.
- Americans throw away enough aluminum every 3 months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.
- In America, 1,500 aluminum cans are recycled every second.
- The aluminum beverage can returns to the grocer’s shelf as a new, filled can in as little as 90 days after collection, remelting, rolling, manufacturing and distribution. That means a consumer could purchase basically the same recycled aluminum can from a grocer’s shelf 4 times a year!
- You can make 20 cans out of recycled material with the same amount of energy it takes to make one new one.
- Five recycled plastic bottles make enough fiberfill to stuff a ski jacket.
- Incinerating 10,000 tons of waste creates one job, landfilling the same amount creates 6 jobs, recycling the same 10,000 tons creates 36 jobs.
Information provided by: www.recyclingit.com, www.nih.gov, www.thomasrecycling.com
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Environmental Protection Agency
SEMCOG (Southeast Michigan Council of Governments)