What Are Some Recycling Statistics?


Quick Answer

While approximately 75 percent of waste is recyclable, only about 30 percent of it is being recycled as of 2015. Just one aluminum can being recycled can create enough energy to listen to an entire song on an MP3 player. If 100 cans were recycled, it would provide light to a bedroom for two weeks.

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Full Answer

There are approximately 36 billion aluminum cans sent to local landfills every year, which would have had a scrap value of about $600 million if people recycled them. Approximately 28 billion jars and bottles are thrown in the trash and sent to landfills each year, even though these are recyclable materials. About 87 percent of people in the U.S. have access to a curbside recycling program.

People in the U.S. alone go through 200 million tons of garbage each year. Just one person can go through 1.5 tons of solid waste a year and 4 pounds of trash each day. Every year, 21.5 trillion tons of waste is from food waste, much of which could be composted. Luckily, paper recycling has increased by 89 percent between 1990 and 2010. It takes as little as 30 days for a glass container to go from the recycling bin and back to a store shelf.

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