Eco-Living Magazine

Stunning Recycling Statistics and Facts

Posted on the 27 November 2011 by T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon

landfill 300x201 Stunning Recycling Statistics and Facts

Facts and statistics about recycling vary from country to country, with European countries and the United States leading the way in disappointing waste figures. Despite constant awareness and education, we all still to live on the Earth as if we have an endless supply of resources. And although most of the common items like paper, aluminum, plastic, and glass are being recycled almost everywhere now , there is still more we can do.

The United States reached a milestone in 2006 by recycling over 53 percent of consumer paper, but this isn’t enough. Recycling efforts need to double, or even triple, unless we want to lose the fight against global warming and landfill overflow.

Here are some interesting and stunning facts on refuse and recycling:

  • The Hershey Chocolate Company in the United Statesproduces over 20 million “Hershey’s Kisses” every day, using nearly 135 square miles worth of aluminum to wrap them. These wrappers are entirely recyclable, but stop and think about where you throw them after you eat one.
  • The highest point in Ohiois Mount Rumpke, at nearly 1,100 feet. However, it isn’t a typical mountain; it’s a mountain of trash at the Rumpke landfill.
  • We hear a lot about the eradication of our rain forests, but not many people are aware of the actual numbers. How much is being cut down? Over 100 acres every minute!
  • TheUnited Statesrecycles only 28 percent of its waste. This might not sound too great, but it’s actually double what it was 10 years ago. In comparison,Austriarecycles more than 60 percent of its waste. On the other end of the spectrum,Greecerecycles only 10 percent, and unfortunately, most other countries around the world are closer toGreecethanAustria.
  • Even a single quart of improperly recycled motor oil can contaminate nearly 2 million gallons of drinkable water. Motor oil may get dirty, but it won’t wear out. Oil can be recycled at designated centers, and re-refining our used oil will reduce our ongoing dependency to foreign oil companies. There is no limit to the number of times oil can be reused. Some recyclers have resorted to picking up your used oil if you leave it outside your door.
  • At over 1,600 pounds per person, the United States produces more trash per year than any other country on the planet.

Interesting and surprising facts aside, these statistics underline the importance of recycling, not only in the United States, but around the world. It is often easy to overlook, but recycling affects many financial aspects of our lives. When items are not recycled, then every component of new products of the same type has to be made from scratch. This equals an increased production cost, which translates to a higher price you will pay at the store.

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