- Public Works
- Solid Waste
- Recycling Statistics
- World electricity demand is expected to double between 2000 and 2030. The greatest increase will occur in the developing world, and the most rapid growth will occur in people's homes.
- Improperly sealed or caulked windows can account for up to 25% of total energy loss from a house.
- Lighting consumes up to 34% of electricity in the United States.
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are an energy-saving alternative to incandescent bulbs - they produce the same amount of light, use 1/3 of the electricity, and last up to 10 times as long.
- If every household replaced its most often-used incandescent light bulbs with CFLs, electricity use for lighting could be cut in half.
- Where electricity is produced from coal, each fluorescent lightbulb used prevents 1,300 pounds (nearly 600 kilograms) of CO2 emissions and 20 pounds of sulfur dioxide from being pumped into the atmosphere.
- A refrigerator built 20 years ago uses 70% more energy than today's energy-efficient models.
- Today's dishwashers are about 95% more energy-efficient than those bought in 1972 — your old dishwasher may be costing you more money in energy bills than it would take to buy a new 1.
- Many idle electronics - TVs, VCRs, DVD and CD players, cordless phones, microwaves - use energy even when switched off to keep display clocks lit and memory chips and remote controls working. Nationally, these energy “vampires” use 5 percent of our domestic energy and cost consumers more than $8 billion annually.
- Most bottles and jars contain at least 25% recycled glass.
- Glass never wears out as it can be recycled forever. We save over a ton of resources for every ton of glass recycled -- 1,330 pounds of sand, 433 pounds of soda ash, 433 pounds of limestone, and 151 pounds of feldspar.
- States with bottle deposit laws have 35-40% less litter by volume.
- If all the glass bottles and jars collected through recycling in the US in 1994 were laid end to end, they'd reach the moon and half way back to earth.
- The energy saved from recycling 1 glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.
- A modern glass bottle would take 4,000 years or more to decompose and even longer if it's in the landfill.
- Mining and transporting raw materials for glass produces about 385 pounds of waste for every ton of glass that is made. If recycled glass is substituted for half of the raw materials, the waste is cut by more than 80%.
- If only 100,000 people stopped their junk, mail, we could save up to 150,000 trees annually. If a million people did this, we could save up to a million and a half trees.
- The junk mail Americans receive in 1 day could produce enough energy to heat 250,000 homes.
- The average American still spends 8 full months of his/her life opening junk mail.
- Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum from raw materials. Energy saved from recycling 1 ton of aluminum is equal to the amount of electricity the average home uses over 10 years.
- Recycling 1 aluminum can saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours.
- Americans throw away enough aluminum every month to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.
- Recycling steel and tin cans saves 74% of the energy used to produce them.
- Americans use 100 million tin and steel cans every day.
- Americans throw out enough iron and steel to supply all the nation’s automakers on a continuous basis.
- A steel mill using recycled scrap reduces related water pollution, air pollution and mining wastes by about 70%.
- A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. That's closed loop recycling at its finest!
- Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the US, but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
- More aluminum goes into beverage cans than any other product.
- Because so many of them are recycled, aluminum cans account for less than 1% of the total US waste stream, according to EPA estimates.
- An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!
- There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled.
- At one time, aluminum was more valuable than gold!
- An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres of space -- that's almost 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.
- More than 50% of a new aluminum can is made from recycled aluminum.
- The 36 billion aluminum cans placed in landfills last year had a scrap value of more than $600 million. Some day we'll be mining our landfills for the resources we've buried.
- Each of us uses approximately 1 100-foot tall Douglas fir tree in paper and wood products per year.
- More than 56% of the paper consumed in the US during 2007 was recovered for recycling, an all-time high. This impressive figure equals nearly 360 pounds of paper for each man, woman, and child in America.
- More than 400 paper mills in the US use at least some recovered materials in their manufacturing processes, and more than 200 of those mills use recovered fiber exclusively.
- De-inked paper fiber is the most efficient source of fiber for the manufacturing of new paper products; 1 ton of de-inked pulp saves over 7,000 gallons of water, 390 gallons of oil, and reduces air emissions by 60 pounds compared to traditional virgin fiber processes.
- Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil, and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity. This is enough energy to power the average American home for 5 months.
- Recycling paper instead of making it from new material generates 74% less air pollution and uses 50 percent less water.
- Just over 48% of office paper is recovered for recycling. This becomes raw material for paperboard, tissue, and printing and writing papers.
- Over 73% of all newspapers are recovered for recycling. Almost a third goes back into making more newsprint. The remainder is used to make paperboard, tissue, and insulation, or exported.
- Approximately 1.5 million tons of construction products are made each year from paper including insulation, gypsum wallboard, roofing paper, flooring, padding and sound-absorbing materials.
- Recycled paper can also be made into paper towels, notebook paper, envelopes, copy paper and other paper products, as well as boxes, hydro-mulch, molded packaging, compost, and even kitty litter.
- To produce each week's Sunday newspapers, 500,000 trees must be cut down.
- Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
- The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
- Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the US.
- The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.
- In 1993, U.S. paper recovery saved more than 90,000,000 cubic yards of landfill space.
- Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap Texas.
- Americans go through 25 billion plastic bottles every year.
- If every American household recycled just 1 out of every 10 bottles they used, we’d keep 200 million pounds of the plastic out of landfills every year.
- Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour! Most of them are thrown away!
- Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures every year!
- Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
- Each year American throw away 25 billion Styrofoam cups, enough every year to circle the earth 436 times.
- The US is the no. 1 trash producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world's people generate 40% of the world's waste.
- In 1865, an estimated 10,000 hogs roamed New York city, eating garbage. Now, one of every 6 US trucks is a garbage truck.
- In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his/her adult weight in garbage. If you add it up, this means that a 150-lb. adult will leave a legacy of 90,000 pounds of trash for his/her children.
- About 1/3 of an average dump is made up of packaging material!
- Every year, each American throws out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted.
- The highest point in Ohio is "Mount Rumpke," which is actually a mountain of trash at the Rumpke sanitary landfill!
- Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.
- On average, it costs $30 per ton to recycle trash, $50 to send it to the landfill, and $65 to $75 to incinerate it.
- The steel industry's annual recycling saves the equivalent energy to electrically power about 18 million households for a year. Every time a ton of steel is recycled, 2500 pounds of iron ore, 1000 pounds of coal and 40 pounds of limestone is preserved.
- Every day Americans use enough steel and tin cans to make a steel pipe running from Los Angeles to New York and back. If we only recycle 1/10 of the cans we now throw away, we'd save about 3.2 billion of them every year.
- About 70% of all metal used just once and is discarded. The remaining 30% is recycled.
Tires & Rubber
- It takes 1/2 a barrel of crude oil to produce the rubber for just 1 truck tire.
- Every 2 weeks, Americans wear almost 50 million pounds of rubber off their tires. That’s enough to make 3.25 million new tires from scratch.
- Producing 1 pound of recycled rubber versus 1 pound of new rubber requires only 29% of the energy.
- Collectively Americans use an average of 100 gallons of water each day…enough to fill 1,600 drinking glasses!
- Letting your faucet run for 5 minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 14 hours.
- If all US households installed water-efficient appliances, we would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and more than $18 billion dollars per year!
- About 75% of the water we use in our homes is used in the bathroom.
- If your toilet is from 1992 or earlier, you probably have an inefficient model that uses between 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush. Newer, high-efficiency toilets use less than 1.3 gallons per flush — that's at least 60% less water per flush!
- The average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of 2 gallons per minute. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth in the morning and at bedtime can save up to 8 gallons of water per day, which equals 240 gallons a month.
- Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of 1 drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water each year. A leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water every day. If your fixtures have leaks, you should get them repaired!
- A full bathtub requires about 70 gallons of water, while taking a 5-minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons.
- The average washing machine uses about 41 gallons of water per load, whereas newer, high-efficiency washing machine models use less than 28 gallons of water per load.
- Experts estimate that more than 50% of landscape water use goes to waste due to evaporation or runoff caused by overwatering! Consider installing a drip irrigation system to water your lawn and garden. These systems use between 20% - 50% less water than conventional in-ground sprinkler systems. They are also much more efficient than conventional sprinklers because no water is lost to wind, runoff, and evaporation.
- Most cars on US roads carry only 1 person. We have so much extra room in our 140 million cars that everyone in Western Europe could ride with us.
- A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.
- Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re-refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.
- On average, each one of us produces 4.4 pounds of solid waste each day. This adds up to almost a ton of trash per person, per year. Americans dump the equivalent of more than 21 million shopping bags full of food into landfills every year.
- A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. That's a lot of containers -- make sure they're recycled!