Recycling Update (Monthly Newsletter)
- Click here for the BCUA Comprehensive Recycling Guide.
- Click here for the BCUA Commercial Recycling Handbook.
- Recycling one aluminum beverage can saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours or a tv for 2 hours.
- The aluminum beverage can returns to the grocer's shelf as a new, filled can in as little as 90 days after collection, remelting, rolling, manufacturing and distribution.
- An average of 113,204 aluminum cans are recycled every minute of every day.
- Recycling one ton of aluminum saves 37 barrels of oil.
- Recycling 125 aluminum cans saves enough energy to power one home for 1 day.
- It takes 4 tons of ore to produce one ton of aluminum.
- Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours or operate a television for 3 hours.
- Producing glass from virgin materials requires 30% more energy than producing it from crushed used glass.
- It takes approximately 1 million years for a glass bottle to break down in a landfill.
- Unacceptable glass for recycling: ceramic cups, plates and pottery; clay garden pots; laboratory glass; crystal and opaque drinking glasses; mirrors; windshields and window glass; heat-resistant ovenwear; light bulbs; drinking glasses; hazardous glass containers, i.e. acid containers.
- In the U.S. today, 34% of all glass containers are recycled.
- Most bottles and jars contain at least 25% recycled glass.
- Glass never wears out - it can be recycled forever.
- Recycling glass saves 25-32% of the energy used to make glass.
- Glass containers save 9 gallons of fuel (oil) for every ton of glass recycled.
- Americans use over 67,000,000 tons of paper each year, or 600 pounds per person.
- It takes more than 500,000 trees to produce the newspapers Americans read each Sunday, yet only 30% of all newspapers are recycled.
- Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil, 7,000 gallons of water and 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity - enough energy to power the average American home for 5 months.
- Producing recycled paper requires about 60% of the energy used to make paper from virgin wood pulp.
- Recycling 1 ton of newspaper saves 15 mature trees.
- Every day, Americans buy 62 million newspapers and throw out 44 million. That's the equivalent of dumping 500,000 trees into a landfill every week.
- If everyone in the U.S. recycled just 1/10th of their newsprint, we would save the estimated equivalent of about 25 million trees a year.
- In the manufacturing process of recycled paper:
- 74% less air pollution is generated
- 35% less water pollution is generated
- 58% less water is required
- 64% less energy is required
- One ton of high-grade recyclable paper can substitute for approximately 3 tons of wood in making new paper products.
- Every year more than 900 million trees are cut down to provide raw materials for American paper and pulp mills.
- Plastics require 100 to 400 years to break down in a landfill.
- Producing new plastic from recycled material uses only two-thirds of the energy required to manufacture it from raw materials.
- For every 7 trucks needed to deliver paper grocery bags to the store, only 1 is needed to carry the same number of plastic grocery bags.
- By using plastic in packaging, American product manufacturers save enough energy each year to power a city of 1 million homes for 3 ½ years.
- As much as 40% of selected plastic parts from damaged or discarded cars are repaired and reused.
- Over 1.5 billion pounds of post-consumer plastic bottles were recycled during 1999, accounting for 22% (by weight) of all plastic bottles produced in the U.S.
- PET bottles (soda & water) and HDPE bottles (milk, laundry detergent) are the most commonly collected plastic materials in community recycling programs.
- 95% of all plastic bottles in the U.S. market are manufactured from PET or HDPE. 56% of recycled PET finds a market in the manufacture of fiber (carpet & clothing). 29% of HDPE recycled bottles go into making new bottles and 18% goes into the plastic pipe industry.
- Recycling 1 ton of plastic can save 1-2 thousand gallons of gas.
- Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the state of Texas.
- Recycling tin and steel cans saves between 60-74% of the energy used to produce them from raw materials.
- 1 ton of recycled steel saves the energy equivalent of 3.6 barrels of oil, and 1.49 tons of iron ore over the production of new steel.
- Steel cans were recycled at the rate of 58% in 2001.
- The amount of steel recovered through recycled packaging in 2001 (nearly 1.5 million tons) would yield enough steel to build 185,000 steel framed homes.
- In 2001, nearly 2 million tons of steel was recovered from recycled appliances.
- The steel from the more than 39 million appliances recycled last year yielded enough steel to build about 160 stadiums the size of the new Pittsburgh Steelers stadium.
- In 2001, there were 26 cars recycled every minute across the U.S.
- Each year steel recycling saves the energy equivalent to electrically power about 1/5th of the households in the U.S. (or about 18 million homes) for 1 year.
- Every ton of steel recycled saves 2,500 lbs. of iron ore, 1,400 lbs. of coal and 120 lbs. of limestone.
- Annually, enough energy is saved by recycling steel to supply Los Angeles with electricity for almost 10 years.
- You can make 20 cans out of recycled material with the same amount of energy it takes to make 1 new one.
- Battery acid is recycled by converting it to sodium sulfate for laundry detergent, glass and textile manufacturing.
- The average person throws away 4 pounds of garbage PER DAY.
- Paper is the most common item found in our trash.
- Product packaging accounts for 1/3 of our trash.
- Solid waste disposal is the third largest municipal government expense after police protection and education.
- The nation's annual generation of municipal solid waste rose steadily from 88 million tons in 1960 to 232 million tons in 2002.
- Recycling all of your home's waste newsprint, cardboard, glass and metal can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 850 lbs. a year.
- The number of landfills that were in operation in 1978:14,000; in 2003: 1,500.
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