Facts About Consumption and Waste

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 Aluminum

  • Recycling aluminum uses less than 5 percent of the energy used to make the original product.
  • Recycling one aluminum beverage can saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for three hours, or a TV for two hours.
  • Recycling 10 tons of aluminum prevents the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as preserving more than 1.1 acres of forest from deforestation.


Plastic

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  • Producing new plastic from recycled material uses only two-thirds as much energy as manufacturing it from new raw materials.
  • Plastics require 100 to 400 years to break down in a landfill.
  • Five 2-liter recycled PET bottles produce enough fiberfill to make a ski jacket.
  • The energy saved by recycling one plastic bottle will power a computer for 25 minutes.
  • Recycling 10 tons of PET plastic prevents the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as removing more than three cars from the road for one year.


Glass

  • Producing glass from crushed, used glass requires 30 percent less energy than producing it from new materials.
  • The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle will operate a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.
  • It takes a glass bottle approximately one million years to break down in a landfill.
  • The greenhouse gas emission reductions from recycling 10 tons of glass are comparable to preventing the use of more than eight barrels of crude oil.


Steel

  • Tin cans contain 99 percent steel.
  • Recycling steel and tin cans saves 60 - 74 percent of the energy used to produce them from raw materials.
  • According to the Steel Recycling Institute, steel recycling in the United States saves the amount of energy required to power about one-fifth of American households for one year.
  • One ton of recycled steel saves the energy equivalent of 3.6 barrels of oil and 1.5 tons of iron ore over the production of new steel.
  • Recycling 10 tons of steel prevents the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as growing 470 tree seedlings for 10 years.


Paper

  • Paper can account for as much as 60 percent of school waste.
  • Producing recycled paper requires about 60 percent of the energy used to make paper from virgin wood pulp.
  • Manufacturing one ton of office paper with recycled paper stock can save between 3,000 and 4,000 kilowatt hours over the same ton made with virgin wood products.
  • Preventing one ton of paper waste saves between 15 and 17 mature trees.
  • Recycling one ton of paper saves enough energy to heat an average home for six months.
  • The greenhouse gas emission reductions from recycling 10 tons of mixed paper are comparable to preventing the use of 94 barrels of crude oil.


Electronics

  • Each year, more than 350 million inkjet and laser cartridges are thrown away.
  • Each year, 35 million cell phones are disposed of.


 

Sources:

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