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Recycling Trivia


By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Dec 7th, 2012
Posted in All Home & Garden

Many people in the recycling business keep sharing all kinds of information with us that some people find quite interesting. This article will contain a considerable amount of trivia dealing with recycling. Some of this information has appeared in previous articles, but a lot of it has surfaced in the last year or two. The sentences that make up the paragraphs will not all deal with the same subject, but fear not, this way, a lot of empty space is saved and I will be able to share much more information with you. I hope you find some of this informative and interesting.

The average American uses 650 pounds of paper each year. Aluminum beverage containers can be recycled forever with no loss of quality. Americans go through 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. Each year Americans throw away more than twenty-five billion Styrofoam cups. Americans use 392 aluminum cans per person per year. Sixty five years ago, almost 100 percent of all beverage bottles were returnable. An American employee drinks about two and one-half cans of pop each day. Glass never wears out... it can be recycled forever.

Nearly fifty percent of aluminum cans were recycled in 2008. The average American uses almost 150 steel/tin cans each year. Each year, Americans use about one billiion plastic shopping bags that weigh nearly 300,000 tons. It takes one fifteen year old tree to produce 700 paper grocery bags. Four thousand years from now, a buried glass bottle will still be a glass bottle. Americans throw away enough aluminum every three months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet. The average American creates at least 106 pounds of food waste each year.

A few years ago, 36 billion aluminum cans had been landfilled...scrap value of more than six hundred million dollars. Half of the polyester carpet made in the United States is made from recycled plastic. In America, we recycle more than 1,500 aluminum cans every second. Plastic bottles not exposed to sunlight (buried in a landfill) may not decompose for thousands of years. Americans recycle about thirteen millioin glass bottles and jars each day. Most bottles and jars contain at least 25 percent recycled glass.

Forty percent of the pure water you use in your house is flushed down the toilet. If all the glass bottles and jars collected through recycling in one year were laid end to end, they would reach to the moon and half way back again. Americans use 100,000,000 (one hundred million) steel and tin cans every day. States with bottle deposit laws have 35-40 percent less litter, by volume. Every year, we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the state of Texas. The Styrofoam cups we throw away each year, if laid end to end, would encircle the earth 436 times. The Twin Cities area generates enough garbage in one year to fill Target Field twenty five times.

Today, nearly forty percent of a newspaper, novel, cereal box, junk mail, cardboard box, pizza box, magazine, or phone book is made from recycled material. Nearly twenty tons of fiber (paper and paper products) are recycled in Fillmore County each week. Over 90 percent of all products shipped in the US are shipped in corrugated boxes, which accounts for more than 400 billiion square feet of cardboard in a year. That amount of cardboard would cover the entire area of Fillmore County more than sixteen times, and would be two and one-half inches thick. That is indeed a lot of cardboard and a lot of trees if recycled material is not used.

Please recycle. It is not just a passing fad, it is really necessary, and sooner or later, “It all comes back to you.”

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