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About 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is just 34%. (Environmental Protection Agency)
More than ½ million trees are saved each year by recycling paper in Boulder County. (Eco-Cycle)
By recycling more than 57,000 tons of steel cans, we reduce greenhouse gasses equivalent to taking more than 21,000 cars off the road each year. (WM)
Recycling glass instead of making it from silica sand reduces mining waste by 70%, water use by 50%, and air pollution by 20%. (Environmental Defense Fund)
If we recycled all of the newspapers printed in the U.S. on a typical Sunday, we would save 550,000 trees—or about 26 million trees per year. (California Department of Conservation)
The energy saved each year by steel recycling is equal to the electrical power used by 18 million homes each year—or enough energy to last Los Angeles residents for eight years. (Steel Recycling Institute)
The total volume of solid waste produced in the U.S. each year is equal to the weight of more than 5,600 Nimitz Class air craft carriers, 247,000 space shuttles, or 2.3 million Boeing 747 jumbo jets. (Beck)
An average kitchen-size bag of trash contains enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for 24 hours. (Covanta)
The solid waste industry currently produces more than half of America's renewable energy, more than combined energy outputs of the solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and wind power industries. (U.S. DOE, Energy Information Administration)
Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 trees, 2 barrels of oil (enough to run the average car for 1,260 miles), 4,100 kilowatts of energy (enough power for the average home for 6 months), 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 60 pounds of air pollution. (Trash to Cash)
Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to operate a TV for 3 hours. (Eco-Cycle)
Glass can be recycled an indefinite number of times and never wears out. (National Recycling Coalition)
Making glass from recycled material cuts related air pollution by 20% and water pollution by 50%. (National Recycling Coalition)
If we put all of the solid waste collected in the U.S. in a line of average garbage trucks, that line of trucks could cross the country, extending from New York City to Los Angeles, more than 100 times. (Beck)
Five PET bottles (plastic soda bottles) yield enough fiber for one extra large T-shirt, one square food of carpet or enough fiber fill to fill one ski jacket. (National Recycling Coalition)
The average person has the opportunity to recycle more than 25,000 cans in a lifetime. (National Recycling Coalition)
Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 12-foot-high wall of paper from New York to Seattle. (National Recycling Coalition)
The average American discards seven and a half pounds of garbage every day. (National Recycling Coalition)
Once an aluminum can is recycled, it's back on the grocery shelf as another aluminum can in 60 days. (www.aluminum.org)
Americans throw away enough aluminum every three months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet. (www.aluminum.org)
Tossing away an aluminum can wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can's volume of gasoline. (www.aluminum.org)
Enough aluminum cans were recycled last year to fill a hollow Empire State Building 24 times. (www.aluminum.org)
The 62.6 billion cans recycled last year alone would make 171 circles around the earth at its equator. (www.aluminum.org)
Nearly 120,000 cans are recycled every minute nationwide. (www.aluminum.org)
Over the past 10 years, the number of aluminum cans recycled has doubled. (www.aluminum.org)
More than one million tons of aluminum containers and packaging are thrown away each year. (www.aluminum.org)
Recycling 1 ton of aluminum saves the equivalent in energy of 2,350 gallons of gasoline. This is equivalent to the amount of electricity used by the average home over a period of 10 years. (www.aluminum.org)
By using recycled aluminum instead of virgin ore, aluminum manufactures save enough energy needed to supply electricity to a city the size of Pittsburgh for about six years. (www.aluminum.org)
In 2010, the amount of paper recovered for recycling averaged 334 pounds for each man, woman, and child in the United States. (www.paperrecycles.org)
Every ton of paper recycled saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. (http://earth911.org)
Recycling a four-foot stack of newspapers saves the equivalent of one 40-foot fir tree, that tree can filter up to 60 pounds of pollutants from the air each year. (www.ohiobaler.com)
More than 37 percent of the fiber used to make new paper products in the United States comes from recycled sources. (http://earth911.org)
86 percent (approximately 254 million) of Americans have access to curbside or drop-off paper recycling programs. (http://earth911.org)
Every month, we throw out enough recyclable glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper. (www.recycling-revolution.com)
The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials. (www.recycling-revolution.com)
Every year, Americans throw away enough office and writing paper to build a wall 12 feet high, stretching from Los Angeles to New York City. (www.fairfaxcounty.gov)Recycling 1 ton of paper uses 7,000 fewer gallons of water, saves 35% of the water pollution and 70% of the air pollution produced in making new paper, uses 4100 KWH less energy, and saves 390 gallons of oil. (www.ohiobaler.com)
If all the glass bottles and jars collected through recycling in the U.S. in one year were laid end-to-end, they would reach the Moon and half way back to the Earth. (www.fairfaxcounty.gov)
The volume of glass recycled by Americans in one year would fill New Jersey's Giants Stadium more than three times. (www.fairfaxcounty.gov)
Used plastic soda and juice bottles are used to make carpets, insulating materials in clothes and sleeping bags, strapping, scouring, pads, auto parts, paint brushes, bottles, and other things such as tennis balls! (www.fairfaxcounty.gov)
We know Americans are recycling today more than ever. But how do we feel about recycling? And can we be doing more of it?
For America Recycles Day (Nov. 15), the Environmental Industry Associations commissioned the respected research organization Harris Interactive to survey Americans on their attitudes and behaviors when it comes to recycling. The survey data showed that Americans are overwhelmingly positive about recycling—but that we also need to expand recycling in public places. View the report here.
Americans are proud to recycle and want to recycle
There is a positive, pent-up energy to recycle with pride in an overwhelming majority of Americans.
Americans are recycling at work, but less successfully “on the go”
Recycling isn’t yet a “no-brainer” for most Americans
What can we do about it?
Americans are recycling, want to recycle, feel good when recycling and will make an effort to recycle outside their homes. We need to make recycling options accessible to the point that recycling that can or bottle in your hand becomes a no-brainer.
We need more recycling options on our main streets and in our shopping malls, restaurants, theaters, airports, gas stations and other public spaces. Contact your local waste company, businesses, fellow residents and community leaders and let them know you are proud to recycle. Together, we can all partner to make more public recycling options a reality.
About the survey
This survey was conducted online within the United States between October 29-31, 2013 among 2,022 adults (aged 18 and over) by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Environmental Industry Associations via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll®, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research across a wide range of industries. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing a client's research investment. Serving clients worldwide through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help our clients stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.