Recycling is a great way to save energy and make the most out of our resources, but folks don’t always do it. Every day tons of aluminum cans, recyclable plastic and other reusable materials end up in landfills. In fact, people in the United States throw away enough aluminum to rebuild every single commercial airplane in the country—in three months!
- Americans recycle about 120,000 aluminum cans every minute – almost 535 billion since 1972 – enough to reach to the moon and back 85 times!
- All of that aluminum only makes up about 1 percent of the total solid waste in the United States.
- There’s no limit to how many times aluminum and glass can be recycled.
- Recycling just ONE aluminum can saves the amount of energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for more than 24 hours.
- A line of all the polystyrene cups made in a single day would reach clear around the earth.
- It takes 500,000 trees to make all the paper used each week just to print the Sunday newspapers across the country.
- Enough wood and paper products are discarded every year could heat 50,000,000 houses for up to 20 years!
- About 2,500,000 plastic bottles get used every single hour in the United States.
- In 2009 stores in California sold about 22 billion containers that were eligible for a refund, and over 17 billion of them got recycled. The rest, enough to cover 770 miles of 4-lane freeway nearly a foot deep, ended up in landfills. The ones that were thrown away were worth more than $100,000,000 that somebody – anybody – could have claimed by simply recycling them and claiming the refund.
- Enough office paper is tossed out every year to create a 12-foot high wall extending from New York to Seattle.
- Recycling just eight newspapers each month saves eight trees per year.
Many people take recycling seriously, but it’s clear from the numbers in these recycling fun facts that not everybody gets it yet. Recycling and reusing reduces costs and emissions, plus it can save a lot of money as well as making sure that the resources we need, like aluminum, continue to be available. The more people are aware of the benefits of recycling, the more likely they are to do it. Learn more about Recycling – the smart way to go.