For many of us, recycling has become a part of our daily lives. We don’t need to think too hard about it before putting recyclables in our recycling bins.
Whether you are a recycling pro, or you are just getting acquainted with your brand new recycling bin, these 22 interesting facts about recycling should interest you.
Interesting Facts About Recycling:
- Many materials can be recycled, including paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and glass. Even electronics and textiles can be transformed and turned into new products.
- Recycling reduces pollution, clears space in landfills, reduces greenhouse emissions, saves energy, saves natural resources, and also creates a lot of jobs. When you think about it, recycling is a small gesture that doesn’t cost you anything, and it does a lot of good to our planet.
- Recycling is a valuable industry. It is globally valued at $160 billion dollars, and it gives jobs to more than 1.5 million people around the world.
- More than 60% of the trash that ends up in our garbage cans could be recycled. That’s a lot of recyclable materials that get wasted.
- In Canada, 93% of households have access to at least one form of recycling program. In Ontario, 95% of households have access to a recycling program. Hopefully, there is one in place where you live.
- In North America, approximately 20% of the metal, glass, paper, and plastic products we use are created from recycled materials. That’s not bad, but it could be a lot better.
- Aluminum cans, if they are sent to a landfill instead of being recycled, can stay intact for more than 500 years. Good thing aluminum cans are one of the most recycled items there are!
- If you place an aluminum can in a recycling bin instead of throwing it away, it can be recycled and be transformed into a new aluminum can that can be back on the shelf of a grocery store within two months!
- Recycling aluminum cans instead of creating new ones from scratch helps save a lot of energy. In fact, recycling just one can could save enough energy to power your television for 3 hours!
- Aluminum can be recycled over and over again, without losing any of its properties. So really, there is no good excuse to not recycle your aluminum cans!
- When glass is being recycled, it has to be separated into different colours. That has to be done because glass keeps its colours when it gets recycled, so if you want to create new clear glass, you have to use only recycled clear glass.
- A glass bottle could take more than 4000 years to decompose. If it gets buried in a landfill, it will surely take even longer before it disappears.
- Recycling just one glass bottle could save enough energy to power a 100-watt lightbulb for around 4 hours. If only keeping your home well lit could be as simple as placing empty glass bottles in a recycling bin!
- Just like aluminum, glass can be recycled again and again, so recycling glass jars and bottles instead of throwing them in a garbage can is the right thing to do.
- The process of recycling paper generates approximately 70% less air pollution than creating new paper from raw materials.
- If everyone recycled their newspapers, more than 250 millions trees would be saved each year. Way too many trees are being cut simply because there are people who don’t care about recycling.
- Each year, most people living in America use the equivalent of 7 trees through wood and paper products. Fortunately, some of those paper products actually come from recycled materials.
- In 2010, it was estimated that paper recycling increased over 89% since 1990. There is still a lot of efforts to be done, but at least we are going in the right direction.
- Plastic bags that are thrown away often end up in the ocean, where they kill more than a million of sea creatures each year. Next time you see a plastic bag being blown in the wind, maybe this is where it’s heading.
- Around 88% of plastic water bottles used by Canadians are not being recycled. This is not a good thing when you consider that plastic needs between 100 years and 400 years to decompose and disappear.
- Many organic materials, such as vegetable and fruit peels, can be recycled. In fact, organic waste can be composted and transformed into fertilizer, so it can be used to grow new vegetables and new fruits.
- A leaky faucet that leaks just one drop of water each second will waste 540 gallons of water in one year. If you have a leaky faucet, call a plumber as soon as possible!