Many people know that recycling is good for the environment, but did you know that…
- Recycling preserves natural resources and supplies valuable raw materials to industry.
- Recycling prevents emissions of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants, and saves energy.
- Recycling reduces our reliance on landfills and incinerators as primary methods of disposal, resulting in a longer life expectancy for our current landfills and reducing the need to open new landfills.
- Recycling saves money that would be spent on disposal costs by reducing the amount of trash we need to throw out every day.
- Recycling helps the economy, supporting more than 19,000 jobs in Massachusetts alone.
Fun Recycling Facts:
- In 1999, recycling and composting activities prevented about 64 million tons of material from ending up in landfills and incinerators. Today, this country recycles 28% of its waste, a rate that has almost doubled during the past 15 years. (US EPA)
- While recycling has grown in general, recycling of specific materials has grown even more drastically: 40% of all plastic soft drink bottles, 55% of all aluminum beer and soft drink cans, 57% of all steel packaging, and 52% of all major appliances are now recycled. (US EPA)
- The U.S. recovery rate for paper and paperboard has made nearly steady progress during recent years, rising from 33.5% in 1990 to just above 48% in 2002. Recovery rates for key grades such as newspaper and old corrugated cardboard containers (OCC) stand even higher at 71% and 74%, respectively, in 2002. (American Forest & Paper Association)
- Steel cans, including food, paint, and aerosol cans, were recycled at a rage of 58% in 2001. That year, the steel industry recycled more than 18 billion steel cans into new products - a rate of about 200 cans for every person with internet access in the US. (Steel Recycling Institute)
- A glass container is 100% recyclable. An old glass container can be made into a new glass container again and again and again. (Glass Packaging Institute)
- In 2002, 31.1% of plastic soft drink bottles were recycled (American Plastics Council).
- Over 1.5 billion pounds of post-consumer plastic bottles were recycled during 1999, accounting for 22 percent (by weight) of all plastic bottles produced in the United States. (American Plastics Council)