It seems obvious that recycling reduces the need for new raw materials, but there are many other facts about recycling, and NOT recycling, that people may not know.
- During the past 35 years, the amount of waste each person creates has almost doubled from 2.7 to 4.4 pounds per day.
- In 2010 according to the U.S. EPA, Americans recovered 34 percent of their waste, or 65 million tons of recycling and 20 million tons of composting.. By comparison, 54 percent — 136 million tons — of waste still is thrown away in landfills, with the remainder, 12 percent, or 29 million tons, combusted in waste-to-energy plants.
- Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 12-foot high wall of paper from New York to Seattle
In this section, you can learn about energy and climate change benefits from recycling. Also find out where your recycled materials go after the truck collects them and what they become.