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Did you know... Recycling Facts

  • If all the aluminum cans Americans threw away in one month were stacked on top of each other, they would reach to the moon.
     
  • Aluminum cans are able to be recycled using less than 5% of the energy used to make the original product.
     
  • Recycling a ton of aluminum save the equivalent in energy of 2,350 gallons of gas, enough to power the average car for more than 64,000 miles. 
     
  • Every ton of paper that is recycled saves about 17 trees. 
     
  • Every tree provides enough oxygen for three people to breathe. 
     
  • It takes 75,000 trees to print a Sunday Edition of the New York Times. 
     
  • Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. 
     
  • Making plastic bottles to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year. 
     
  • Material like food scraps and plant clippings that go into landfills take up costly space and decompose to form methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. 
     
  • Food and yard waste make up almost 30% of CA's waste stream. 
     
  • A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to two million gallons of fresh water. 
     
  • In 2009, American's generated 243 million tons of garbage. 
     
  • Since California's beverage container recycling program began in 1987, Californians have recycled more than 120 billion bottles and cans, enough to circle the earth more than 375 times. 
     
  • The largest landfill in the world is the Fresh Kills landfill, on Staten Island. It is more than 500 feet in height. Opened in 1948, it encompasses 2,200 acres about 2.8 by 3.8 miles and contains nearly 3 billion cubic feet of fill. The facility was closed in March 2001, but reopened to receive debris created by the fall of the World Trade Center. 
     
  • It has been estimated that on average a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. That equates to 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for just one average-size elementary school. 
  • Every Californian generates approximately 6 pounds each of trash per day! There's everything from paper, uneaten food, construction leftovers, cut grass, plastic, glass, metal, old batteries, computers, phones, and tons of other "stuff."
     
  • Every year Americans fill enough garbage trucks to form a line that would stretch from the earth, halfway to the moon.
     
  • Each square mile of ocean is estimated to have 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it. 
     
  • Compost Day, last year, our communities helped divert over 375,000 tons of yard waste, food scraps and other compostable materials from the landfill by using their curbside compost carts. We also donated over half mile of compost to local gardens through the Big Garden Give!
     
  • Recycling is the process of turning used waste and materials into new products. This prevents potentially useful materials from being wasted as well as reducing energy use and pollution.
     
  • Recycling is part of the waste disposal hierarchy - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
     
  • A wide variety of different materials can be recycled, including paper, plastic, glass, metal, textiles and electronic equipment.
     
  • The idea of recycling isn’t something new, historical evidence shows that humans have been recycling various materials for thousands of years.
     
  • There are different methods of waste collection. These include drop off centers (where waste materials are dropped off at a specified location), buy back centers (where certain materials are exchanged for money), and curbside collection (where recycling vehicles are used to pick up waste material intended for recycling along residential streets).
     
  • 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 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. 
  • Glass recycling is often separated into colors because glass keeps its color after recycling.
     
  • For every ton of recycled glass turned into new products, 315 kilograms of extra carbon dioxide that would have been released during the creation of new glass are saved.