Currently Americans are recycling 2 of every 3 aluminum cans that are being used. That’s a good start, but we can do better.
Aluminum Old Recycling Facts:
- During the last 20 years we have wasted over 11 million tons of aluminum cans. That is about $12 billion today.
- It took 19 aluminum cans to make one pound 20 years ago. Now, there are lighter cans, it takes 29 cans to make a pound.
- The aluminum industry paid over 1 billion in 1997 for all the recycled items.
Facts About the Current State of Aluminum Recycling
- Recycling one aluminum can, can save the same amount of energy that is necessary to keep a 100 watt light bulb burning for about 4 hours.
- Using recycled aluminum to make beverage cans can cut air pollution by almost 95 percent.
- It’s possible for a recycled aluminum can to be back on a store shelf in about 90 days.
Different Types of Aluminum That Can Be Recycled
Most people think of aluminum cans when considering aluminum items that can be recycled. There are, however, several things made of aluminum that can be recycled. Just look around your house, most windows have an aluminum border on the screens.
In spite of the progress we’re making we still waste an incredible amount of aluminum. It’s important to remember that there is no limit to how many times aluminum can be recycled.
To most people, plastic is plastic. But, if you hold a water bottle, a milk jug or a 5-gallon plastic bucket, the difference is very apparent. All plastics are not recyclable. The symbol on the bottom of the container is an ID code, not a recyclable sign. Notice that water bottles have a number 1 stamped inside of the triangular marking. This usually symbolizes a recyclable plastic. Few individuals understand plastic recycling, but when a survey was recently conducted, 9 out of 10 Americans stated that they would be willing to participate in a recycling program if it were offered.
It is estimated that 2.5 million water bottles are used every hour. Most are tossed away in garbage containers and end up under the soil. The chemicals used in the plastic manufacturing process prevents this material from breaking down. It takes thousands of years for plastic to finally start of disintegrate.
Not only do many of the discarded plastics eventually end up in our oceans, damaging sea life, but the energy that is wasted from manufacturing versus recycling, is astounding. It takes 66% more energy to create plastic products from scratch than it does to recycle existing containers.
To date, only 27% of plastic bottles are recycled. This gives you an idea of the total amount of plastics that end up in landfills. At this pace, our beautiful planet will be a sea of garbage in a few short years.
How the Consumer can Help
If you do not have a garbage service that accepts all or part of discarded plastics, find one. There are apps available for locating recyclable companies in your area. Take the initiative and do your part to help the planet. Also, when shopping, look for products that are made from recyclable plastic in order to get the ball rolling on more manufacturing of recyclables.
With everyone’s help, more and more plastics will be required for recycle and the circle of manufacturing, using, recycling and re-use will be complete. Take the initiative and spread the word on these little know facts to make a difference.
Recycling 1 ton of NEWSPRINT can save:
- 601 kWh of energy
- 1.7 barrels of oil
- 10.2 million Btu’s of energy
- 4.6 cubic yards of landfill space
- 7000 gallons of water
- 15 trees
Did You Know?
– 10 million tons of newsprint is thrown away each year in the USA
– Approximately 65,000 – 75,000 trees are needed to produce the Sunday New York Times paper edition.
Recycling 1 ton of CARDBOARD saves:
- 390 kWh of energy
- 1.1 barrels of oil
- 6.6 million Btu’s of energy
– Remove all other materials in the cardboard box, such as plastic bubble wrap and other packaging materials.
– Break apart the cardboard boxes to save storage space.
– Keep cardboard dry so it is easier to carry.
Recycling 1 ton of PAPER saves:
- 4,100 kWh of energy
- 9 barrels of oil
- 54 million of Btu’s of energy
- 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space
- 60 pounds of air pollutants being released
- 7000 gallons of water
- 17 trees
Did You Know?
– 4.5 million tons of paper is disposed each year in the USA
– The average American uses about 650 pounds of paper each year.
– Recycled white paper creates 74% less air pollution, 35% less water pollution, and 75% less processed energy than producing from virgin fibers.
The information was gathered from the Water Management website. For more informative statistics, please visit here.