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Recycling Statistics

Facts and figures about the global impact of recycling.
  1. Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
  2. If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.
  3. The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most are packaging and junk mail-all of which can be recycled!
  4. In 1993, U.S. paper recovery saved more than 90,000,000 cubic yards of landfill space
  5. Recycling just one aluminum can save enough energy to run a television set for 3 hours!
  6. That can return to the grocer's shelf in as little as 60 days after collection.
  7. Most aluminum recovered is used to manufacture new cans.
  8. There is no limit to the number of times an aluminum can be recycled.
  9. Every pound of recycled PET plastic used in place of virgin material reduces energy use in plastic production by 84%!
  10. Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour - and most of them are thrown away!
  11. Each year, we use 1 billion plastic shopping bags, creating 300,000 tons of landfill waste. 
  12. On average, it costs $30 per ton to recycle trash, $50 to send it to the landfill, and $65 to $75 to incinerate it.
  13. The recyclable materials in the U.S. waste stream would generate over $7 billion if they were recycled. That's equivalent to Donald Trump's net worth.
  14. About one-third of an average dump is made up of packaging material!
  15. The U.S. recycles approx. 32% of its total waste.  Let's pick it up!

More About Recycling

Examples of materials that BYU-Idaho can recycle.
How recycling makes a difference for the economy and environment.
How recycling saves money, uses less energy, and makes a difference.
Specific questions and answers about what can be recycled.