RECYCLING FUN FACTS
- Aluminum is made from a natural resource called Bauxite Ore. Making products from recycled aluminum saves energy and Bauxite Ore.
- There is no limit to the number of times aluminum can be melted down and reused
that means aluminum can be recycled and reused over and over again!
- It takes 80-100 years for an aluminum can to decompose (break down and disappear) in our landfills and dumps.
- Recycling one aluminum can saves enough electricity to operate a TV for up to 3 hours, or it saves enough energy to power a 60 watt light bulb for 24 hours.
- Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every 3 months.
- For each pound of aluminum recycled, you eliminate the need to mine four pounds of bauxite ore.
- Throwing away one aluminum can wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can's volume of gasoline.
- The aluminum beverage can returns to the grocer's shelf as a new, filled can in as little as 60 days after collection, re-melting, rolling, manufacturing and distribution. Consumers could purchase the same recycled aluminum can from a grocer's shelf every 9 weeks or almost 6 times a year.
- Americans recycle about 120,000 aluminum cans every minute - almost 535 billion since 1972 - enough to reach to the moon and back 85 times!
- Glass is made of soda ash, limestone and lots of sand. The mixture is put into a very hot furnace and when it melts, it turns into glass. Heating the furnace takes a lot of energy.
- Glass can be recycled and used over and over again! This saves energy and natural resources. Recycled glass melts at a lower temperature than new materials, so it takes less energy to heat the furnace. In fact, most bottles and jars are made from recycled glass.
- Glass takes over 1,000,000 (one million) years to decompose (breakdown and disappear) in our landfills or dumps.
- Recycling glass instead of making it from silica sand reduces mining waste by 70%, water use by 50%, and air pollution by 20%.
- The oldest known examples of glass are Egyptian beads dating from 12,000 B.C.
- All newly purchased glass food jars contain at least 35% recycled glass.
- Since 1980, the average weight of a glass container has been reduced by more than 10%.
- Eight to twelve weeks is how long it takes for a glass container to be recycled and returned to the store shelf.
- 32% of a glass container is post-consumer recycled glass. However, the technology exists to use up to 85% recycled glass.
- One ceramic coffee mug alone in a truckload of glass is enough to contaminate the entire load and cause it to be rejected from recycling.
- Recycled soda and water bottles are made from PET plastic. PET is short for Polyethylene Terephthalate. You can identify PET Plastic containers by looking for this symbol on the bottom of the bottles.
- There are seven different types of plastics. The number on the bottom of plastic bottles or containers indicates the type of plastic polymer (resin) used to make it.
- The PET bottle was patented by Nathaniel Wyeth in 1973.
- The first PET bottle was recycled in 1977.
- It can take up to 700 years for plastic to decompose (break down and disappear) in our landfills or dumps.
- In 1960, a one-gallon plastic milk container weighed 120 grams. Today, it weighs just 65 grams.
- Recycling a ton of PET containers can save 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.
- Every year, Americans make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the state of Texas.
- About 2,500,000 plastic bottles get used every single hour in the United States.
- Recycled PET can be used to make many new products, such as carpet, fabric for T-shirts, shoes, sweaters and coats, luggage, fiberfill for sleeping bags and even toys.
- Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 trees, 2 barrels of oil (enough to run the average car for 1,260 miles), 4,100 kilowatts of energy (enough power for the average home for 6 months), 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space, and 60 pounds of air pollution.
- If every household in the U.S. replaced just one roll of 1,000 sheet virgin fiber bathroom tissues with 100% recycled ones, we could save: 373,000 trees, 1.48 million cubic feet of landfill space, and 155 million gallons of water.
- If we recycled all of the newspapers printed in the U.S. on a typical Sunday, we would save 500,000 trees - or about 26 million trees per year.
- Enough wood and paper products are discarded every year could heat 50,000,000 houses for up to 20 years.
- 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.
Recycling creates 6 times as many jobs as landfilling.