Understanding recycling facts is a great way to know how our choices affect the environment, and help us to change our daily habits to be focused around green living practices. This article will focus on recycling facts within the United States, although these facts can also be applied around the world.
Our current method of waste disposal is not environmentally friendly, because the landfills are tightly packed and most of them are quickly covered. This method of disposal prevents fast decomposition, so it takes longer for the waste to break down.
In the United States, it is estimated that each person produces about 4.6 pounds of waste per day. Cutting back on even 1 or 2 pounds of garbage per person could drastically reduce the amount of waste in the landfills. This waste adds up fast, and in 2007 about 254 million tons of garbage was disposed in the United States.
To make matters worse, businesses are also a huge source of waste. Businesses in the United States generate so much paper waste on a daily basis, that if the paper was placed end to end it would circle around the earth 20 times.
Recycling paper products can be a great way to save the environment and reduce the impact of paper production. It is estimated that paper products account for at least 40% of the contents in the landfill, and it is slow to decompose.
When one ton of paper is recycled, it is estimated that it saves 3 cubic yards of space in the landfill. Additionally, 17 trees are saved, 380 gallons are saved in oil because of production and transportation, and 7,000 water gallons are saved in production. Additionally, one ton of recycled paper protects the pollution levels in the air because it keeps 60 pounds of pollutants out of our air.
Aluminum cans are easy to recycle, and they have a quick turnaround time. When an aluminum can is recycled, it only takes about two months to repurpose the metal into a brand new soda can. Most people only think about beverage cans when they are considering aluminum recycling, but there are many other types of aluminum products that can be recycled, such as: car parts, window frames, house siding, gutters, and lawn furniture.
The top source of aluminum usage in the United States is beverage cans, and recycling just one can will save enough energy equal to half a gallon of gas, or to run a TV for three hours. There is no limit to how many times aluminum cans are able to be recycled, so it is best to recycle them as often as possible.
These are just a few recycling facts to consider, it is important to remember that recycling will make a big impact on the environment. We can each do our part by recycling as much as possible to prevent waste in the landfill.