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40+ Surprising Facts About Recycling

Recycling plays a key role in preserving natural resources and reusing them in every way possible.

This not just only makes way for the coming generation to enjoy the environmental resources, but it also makes the earth a better place to live by reducing pollution and wastage.

Do you know that an average person in the U.S. throws five pounds of trash every day? Surprised? Let’s discover some amazing recycling facts related to plastic, paper, glass, and even food waste.

Facts About Recycling Cans

  1. Cans for beverages contain more aluminum than any other product.
  2. Fifty thousand twelve-ounce cans are produced in the time it takes you to read this paragraph.
  3. Every minute, 350,000 aluminum cans are created.
  4. The number of times aluminum may be recycled is unlimited.
  5. In 500 years, an aluminum can that is discarded today will still be an aluminum can.

Facts About Recycling Steel

  1. 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,000 pounds of coal, and 40 pounds of limestone are saved for every tonne of recycled steel.
  2. One pound of recycled steel can save enough energy to run a 60-watt lightbulb for more than a day.
  3. Steel recycling in the US saves enough energy in a year to heat and cool 18,000,000 houses!

Also, read Head Scratching Facts About Elements That You Should Know!

Facts About Paper Recycling

  1. Every Sunday newspaper requires the cutting down of 500,000 trees to create it.
  2. We could save 250,000,000 trees annually if all newspapers in the United States were recycled.
  3. The typical American utilizes seven trees annually for wood, paper, and other tree-derived items. This equates to almost 2,000,000,000 trees annually.
  4. Paper worth over 1 billion trees is discarded annually in the United States.
  5. Tropical rainforests that cover 27 million acres are destroyed annually. That equates to 74,000 acres per day, 3,000 acres per hour, and 50 acres per minute—an area the size of Ohio.
  6. Each ton (2,000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy, and 7,000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less air pollution.
  7. The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning the same ton of paper would create 1,500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
  8. The construction costs of a paper mill designed to use waste paper are 50 to 80% less than the costs of a mill using new pulp.

Facts About Recycling Plastic

  1. Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour – most of them are thrown away!
  2. While Americans consumed over 167 water bottles year in 2006, just 23% of those bottles were recycled on average. 38 billion water bottles are still in landfills as a result.
  3. In a landfill, plastic bottles take 700 years to start breaking down.
  4. Up to a million marine animals are killed annually by plastic bags and other plastic waste that is dumped into the ocean. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a stewing mass of plastic waste that is twice the size of Texas and is believed to weigh three million tonnes.
  5. Two times as much energy is saved by recycling plastic as by burning it in an incinerator.
  6. When plastic is recycled instead of being used as raw material, energy consumption is cut in half, water usage is almost 90% lower, only 1/3 of sulfur dioxide and 1/2 of nitrous oxide are produced, and 2.5 times less carbon dioxide is produced.

Facts About Recycling Glass

  1. Every month, we throw away a lot of glass bottles and jars, which can fill a huge skyscraper.
  2. Modern glass bottles take more than 4000 years to break down, especially if they’re in a landfill.
  3. Recycling one glass bottle can save enough energy to run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.
  4. Recycling glass also reduces air pollution by 20% and water pollution by 50% compared to making new bottles from scratch.
  5. Making glass from raw materials creates a lot of waste, but if we use recycled glass for half of it, we can reduce waste by more than 80%.

Also, read Fighting Pollution With Glass Bottles

Trash and Recycling Facts in the U.S.:

  1. The United States produces the most trash in the world, with each person making about 1609 pounds of trash per year.
  2. Even though 75% of our trash can be recycled, the goal set by the EPA is to recycle 35%.
  3. The average person throws away almost five pounds of trash every day, adding up to 146.2 million tons of trash in landfills in 2018.
  4. However, Americans also recycled and composted almost 94 million tons of waste, a rate that has increased by more than 300% in 38 years.

Facts About Recycling Food Waste

  1. Food waste can be turned into compost for plants or used as animal feed.
  2. About half of the food in the U.S. goes to waste, which is around 3000 pounds per second.
  3. Food scraps make up almost 12% of all the waste we generate.
  4. Many schools and businesses are starting to compost food waste on their premises.
Ru is an entertainment nerd who likes to spill the beans about what's happening in the entertainment industry. She comes up with well-researched articles so that you can "Netflix and Chill." Come join her as she has a lot to tell her readers.


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