Recycling Facts

National Recycling Facts
  • The EPA estimates that while 75% of what Americans trash every week could be recycled, only 25% is recycled.
  • Today, this country recycles 28% of its waste, a rate that has almost doubled during the past 15 years.
  • Twenty years ago, only 1 curbside recycling program existed in the United States, which collected several materials at the curb. By 1998, 9,000 curbside programs and 12,000 recyclable drop-off centers had sprouted up across the nation.
  • Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy and 7,000 gallons of water.
  • Americans use more than 67 million tons of paper per year, or about 580 pounds per person.
  • Paper products make up the largest part (approximately 40%) of our trash.
  • Making recycled paper instead of new paper uses 64% less energy and uses 58% less water.
  • Every year more than 900 million trees are cut down to provide raw materials for American paper and pulp mills.
California Recycling Facts Source
  • Visit the California Recycling website to find a recycling center.
  • Recycling 1 ton of PET (clear plastic) bottles saves 7.4 cubic yards of space in landfill.
  • Recycling 14 20-ounce PET bottles can make 1 extra large t-shirt.
  • You can watch 2.5 hours of television with the energy saved from recycling 1 aluminum can.
  • It takes 90 days for recycled aluminum to make it back on the shelf as something useful.
  • 80-100 Years: The lifespan of an aluminum can that gets tossed into a landfill instead of a recycling bin.
  • 700 Years: Toss a plastic bottle in the trash and that's about how long it will sit in a landfill without degrading.
  • 1 Million Years: Put a glass bottle in a landfill and that's how long it will take to degrade. Recycle it and it can live forever.
Laguna Hills Recycling Facts
  • In 2005, 52% of residential waste (including multi-family units) was recycled, 67% of construction and demolition waste was recycled, and 14% of commercial waste was recycled.