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Recycling Facts
Aluminum   
  • Recycled aluminum saves 95% energy vs. virgin aluminum; recycling of one aluminum can save enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours (Reynolds Metal Company)
  • Recycled aluminum reduces pollution by 95% (Reynolds Metal Co.)
  • Enough aluminum is thrown away to rebuild our commercial air fleet 4 times every year.
  • 4 lbs. of bauxite are saved for every pound of aluminum recycled (Reynolds Metal Co.)
Glass
  • Recycled glass saves 50% energy vs. virgin glass (Center for Ecological Technology); recycling of one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours (EPA)
  • Recycled glass generates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution (NASA)
  • 1 ton of glass made from 50% recycled materials saves 250 lbs. of mining waste (EPA)
  • Glass can be reused an infinite number of times; over 41 billion glass containers are made each year (EPA)
 

Paper
  • Recycled paper saves 60% energy vs. virgin paper (Center for Ecological Technology)
  • Recycled paper generates 95% less air pollution: each ton saves 60 lbs. of air pollution (Center for Ecological Technology)
  • Recycling of each ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7000 gallons of water (EPA)
  • Every year enough paper is thrown away to make a 12' wall from New York to California


Plastic
  • Plastic milk containers are now only half the weight that they were in 1960 (EPA)
  • If we recycled every plastic bottle we used, we would keep 2 billion tons of plastic out of landfills (Penn State)
  • According to the EPA, recycling a pound of PET saves approximately 12,000 BTU's.
  • We use enough plastic wrap to wrap all of Texas every year (EPA)

Further Facts
  • Source: University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Produced and maintained by the Office of Waste Management
  • A ton of recycled paper equals or saves 17 trees in paper production.
    Production of recycled paper uses 80% less water, 65% less energy and produces 95% less air pollution than virgin paper production.
  • If offices throughout the country increased the rate of two-sided photocopying from the 1991 figure of 20% to 60%, they could save the equivalent of about 15 million trees." (from Choose to Reuse by Nikki & David Goldbeck, 1995).
  • Global paper use has grown more than six-fold since 1950. One fifth of all wood harvested in the world ends up in paper. It takes 2 to 3.5 tons of trees to make one ton of paper. Pulp and paper is the 5th largest industrial consumer of energy in the world, using as much power to produce a ton of product as the iron and steel industry. In some countries, including the United States, paper accounts for nearly 40 percent of all municipal solid waste. Making paper uses more water per ton than any other product in the world. Source: The Worldwatch Institute.
  • Over a ton of resources is saved for every ton of glass recycled -- 1,330 pounds of sand, 433 pounds of soda ash, 433 pounds of limestone, and 151 pounds of feldspar. Also a ton of glass produced from raw materials creates 384 pounds of mining waste. Using 50% recycled glass cuts the waste by 75%.