Recycling Tips

Did you know… 

RPET Infographic

  • On average, we throw away four pounds of waste per person/day, of which we recycle 1.5 pounds.
  • Americans generate 21.5 million tons of food waste each year. If we composted that food, it would reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas as taking 2 million cars off the road.
  • Over 75% of waste is recyclable, but on average, we only recycle about 30% of it.
  • Americans toss enough garbage every day to fill 63,000 garbage trucks, which if lined up end to end for an entire year would stretch half way to the moon.
  • In a lifetime, the average American will personally throw away 600 times his or her body weight, which for an average adult would leave a legacy of 90,000 pounds of trash at the end of their lifetime.
  • Americans represent 5% of the world’s population, but generate 30th of the world’s garbage.
  • Recycling a ton of plastic bottles saves approximately 74 gallons of gas. And, the energy saved by recycling one plastic bottle will power this computer you’re on for 25 minutes.
  • Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. Recycling one ton of plastic bottles saves the equivalent energy usage of a two person household for one year.
  • Recycling one ton of paper saves enough energy to power the average American household for six months, or saves 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, 4,100 kWh of electricity and 7,000 gallons of water.
  • Recycled paper can be made from three different types of paper: mill broke (paper scrap and trimmings), pre-consumer waste (paper that was discarded before consumer use), and post-consumer waste (paper discarded after consumer use, such as old newspapers).
  • Recycling paper takes 60% less energy than making paper from raw materials. It also creates 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution.
  • Americans throw away 4.5 million tons of office paper each year. That’s enough to build a wall of paper 12 feet high from New York to Los Angeles.
  • Every Sunday, 500,000 trees are used to produce the 88% of newspapers that are never recycled. If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year.
  • Recycling just one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours, or power a television for 20 minutes.
  • For every six tons of recycled container glass used in the manufacturing process, one ton of carbon dioxide creation is avoided.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on your iPod.
  • Recycling 100 cans could light a room in your home for two weeks.
  • Recycling aluminum cans saves 95% of the energy used to make aluminum cans from new material.
  • Of recyclables, Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild the entire commercial air fleet every three months, enough steel to reconstruct Manhattan, and enough wood to heat 5 million homes for 200 years.
  • Recycling old aluminum uses only 5% of the energy used to make new aluminum. Aluminum can be recycled from cans, bicycles, computers, cookware, wires, cars, planes and other sources.
  • Each year, more than 152 million mobile devices were discarded by the users. Almost all parts of a mobile phone can be recycled, which can conserve the natural resources for making new ones.
  • Recycling 1 million desktop computers prevents the release of greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of 16,000 passenger cars.
  • In the U.S., about 400 million electronic items become obsolete each year, and less than 20% is recycled.
  • U.S. waste disposal costs exceed $100 billion annually.

Information provided by Tracy Skenandore at RepublicServices.