Did you know the average American tosses 4.4 pounds of trash every single day? Take that number and multiply it by the number of people you come into contact with each day—friends, family, coworkers—and that number quickly grows to an astonishing level.

What’s sad is much of the trash we throw out can actually be recycled. The next time you start to question whether or not your recycling efforts are really making a difference, consider these quick stats:

Recycling: Just the Facts


  • Recycling a three-foot stack of newspaper can save one whole tree.
  • It takes twenty-five percent less energy to recycle cardboard than to make it new.
  • Recycling one ton of cardboard, rather than making it new, saves forty-six gallons of oil.
  • Each year, American offices throw away 4.5 million tons of paper.
  • If each American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, 25,000,000
    trees would be saved every year.
Recycling: Just the Facts


  • It takes an astounding one thousand years for plastic to decompose on its own in a landfill.
  • Reusing one ton of plastic saves thirty cubic yards of landfill space.
  • You can power a two-person household for an entire year with the energy saved by recycling a single ton of plastic.
  • Each year, Americans throw away thirty-five billion plastic bottles.
  • Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles each and every hour, and most of those are thrown away!
Recycling: Just the Facts


  • A person goes through approximately 25,000 aluminum cans in a lifetime.
  • Recycling aluminum instead of making it from raw materials requires ninety-five percent less energy.
  • You can power a TV for three hours with the electricity saved by recycling a single aluminum can.
  • There is no limit to the number of times aluminum can be recycled.
  • A recycled aluminum can can be back on the store shelves in just sixty days.
Recycling: Just the Facts


  • Each year, twenty-eight billion glass jars end up in landfills.
  • It takes a million years for glass to degrade in a landfill.
  • You can power a lightbulb for four hours with the energy saved by recycling one glass bottle.
  • Glass can be recycled over and over, since it never wears out.
  • Each week, Americans throw away enough glass to fill a 1,350 foot building.

Make it count!
As Americans, we represent only five percent of the world’s population—yet we generate thirty percent of the world’s garbage. With half of what we throw away being recyclable, we have a responsibility to the world and to its future generations to do the responsible thing and help take care of our environment.

Next time you’re standing at the trash bin, stop and take a moment to ask yourself if what you’re about to throw away could be recycled instead. Mother Nature will thank you!