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Recycling Facts

  • 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

Links

Earth 911

My Ecoville

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Environmental Protection Agency

Energystar

SEMCOG (Southeast Michigan Council of Governments)

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