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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 U.S., but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
- Recycling aluminum uses 95% less energy, and produces 95% less air & water pollution, compared to using virgin ore.
- An aluminum can takes 200-500 years to decompose!
- There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can, can be recycled.
- Recycling one pound of aluminum saves 8 pounds of bauxite (aluminum ore), 4 pounds of chemicals and 7 kWh of electricity.
- Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours -- or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
- At one time, aluminum was more valuable than gold!
Plastic Recycling Facts
- Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour! Most of them are thrown away!
- Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
- One plastic bottle takes 450 years to decompose.
- Producing new plastic products from recycled materials uses two-thirds less energy than is required to make products from raw (virgin) materials.
- Recycling one ton of plastic bottles saves approximately 3.8 barrels of oil.
- A recycling 15 half-liter bottle produces enough fiber-fill to make a ski jacket.
- Recycling one bottle can save enough energy to run a 100-watt light bulb for 3 1/2 hours.
- Recycled plastics are used to make trash cans, carpets, playground equipment, plastic lumber, pipes, fences, toys, binders, pallets, clothing and many other items.
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 CFL 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%.
- For every ton of new glass produced, 28 pounds of air pollution is created.
Recycling glass reduces that pollution by 14-20%.
- Recycling glass saves 25-32% of the energy used to make new glass.
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 U.S. is the #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 is "Mount Rumpke," which is actually a mountain of trash at the Rumpke sanitary landfill!
- The US population discards each year 16,000,000,000 diapers, 1,600,000,000 pens, 2,000,000,000 razor blades, 220,000,000 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.
Miscellaneous Recycling Facts
- More than 80,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using 28 square miles of aluminum foil per year.
All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.
- Rainforests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute!
- A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.
- Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re-refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.
- On average, each one of us produces 4.4 pounds of solid waste each day. This adds up to almost a ton of trash per person, per year.
- A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year.
That's a lot of containers -- make sure they're recycled!
These recycling facts have been compiled from various sources including the National Recycling Coalition, the Environmental Protection Agency, Earth911.org, Natural Resources Defense Council and Recycling-Revolution.com.