What Percentage of Recycling Actually Gets Recycled?
Mar 17, · In , only million tons of that waste was either recycled or composted. That's only about 35 percent of the total amount, and when you take into account that only 8 percent of discarded plastics were recycled that year, things start to Author: Andrew Krosofsky. Mar 13, · Sixty-six percent of discarded paper and cardboard was recycled, 27 percent of glass, and 8 percent of plastics were recycled.
Software helping U. Over 2, landfills are currently open in the United States, making our country an uglier place. Because of this, I wanted to focus on some key landfill statistics that will allow you to think differently about the current way our population disposes of its trash and the current problems that lie within its current practices. These 50 landfill facts on trash and recycling will whst the severity of the whxt that lie within our current approach to trash.
Nine-tenths of all solid waste in the United States does not get recycle. Turns out, there are a few easy steps you can take to start recycling better. A single recycled plastic bottle saves enough energy to run a watt bulb for 4 hours. Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as it takes to burn it. It only takes 5 recycled plastic bottles to make enough fiberfill to stuff a ski jacket. Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty — and it can be recycled.
The U. Over 11 million tons of recyclable clothing, shoes, and textiles make their way into landfills each year. The United States comes in around Studies indicate that women on average typically express more concern for the environment and are more likely to recycle than men. In the United States, we throw away 2. It takes years for average sized plastic water bottles to fully decompose. The amount of plastic film and wrap produced annually could shrink-wrap the state of Texas.
The energy it takes to make 1. There are 25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that,tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. According to a study done by the University of Georgia, 18 billion pounds of plastic trash winds up in our oceans each year.
Glass, like aluminum, is infinitely recyclable — without any loss in purity or quality. Glass container manufacturers hope to achieve 50 percent recycled content in the manufacture of new glass bottles. This achievement would save enough energy to power 21, homes for one year and while removing over tons of waste from landfills monthly. Americans use 65 billion aluminum soda cans each year.
In only three months, enough aluminum cans are thrown out in the United States to rebuild all of our commercial air fleets. There is no limit to the number of times you can recycle an aluminum can. Wsate recycling, an aluminum can is usually repurposed within 60 days. Recycling just two aluminum cans waxte the same amount of energy it takes to power a PC for a single workday.
You can make 20 new cans from recycled material using the same amount of energy that it takes to make 1 brand new can. While the United States celebrates the holidays, Americans produce an additional 5 million tons of waste four million of the 5 million tons consisting of wrapping paper and shopping bags.
The majority of the 4 million tons of junk mail that Americans receive annually ends up in landfills. The energy used to create and distribute junk mail in the US for one day could heathomes. On average, Americans use pounds of paper a year. The United States throws out the amount of office paper it would take how to search google docs build a foot wall from Los Angeles to New York City 2, miles.
Americans make nearly billion photocopies a year, which comes out tocopies every minute. The average office worker in the United States goes through roughly disposable cups annually. Making new paper from recycled materials uses less energy than producing paper from virgin tree products and leaves more trees to absorb excess carbon dioxide. That is an area greater than the state of Maryland. A single American consumes roughly two trees annually in paper products. Of the 62 million newspapers printed daily in the United States, 44 million will be thrown away roughlytrees.
We hope these landfill facts and recycling statistics made you think twice about your trash and consumption habits. Own a business and looking for affordable waste and recycling solutions to become more sustainable? Head to our business solutions page. How to remove upper lip hair with sugar Recurring Dumpster Service Recurring dumpster rental for your business.
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B Corp We're using the power of business to solve wastd challenges. Careers Are you purpose-driven and passionate? Join our mission. Compliance We are committed to information security and protection of company and customer data. Global Solutions Solve global waste challenges with our software. Click here for our free guide: 6 Steps to Successful Recycling and Waste Reduction Because of this, I wanted to focus on some key landfill statistics that wasre allow perrcent to think differently about the current way our population disposes of its trash and the current problems that lie within its current practices.
Overmarine animals die every year from plastic rrcycled and ingestion. Glass bottles take 4, years to decompose. Sign up for the Rubicon newsletter Receive Rubicon news and blog content directly in your inbox.
Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling
Nov 14, · 1. Nine-tenths of all solid waste in the United States does not get recycled. 2. Landfills are among the biggest contributors to soil pollution – roughly 80% of the items buried in landfills could be recycled. 3. Although 75% of America’s waste is recyclable, we only recycle around 30% of funslovestory.comted Reading Time: 6 mins. Mar 06, · Daily chartOnly 9% of the world's plastic is recycled. Only 9% of the world's plastic is recycled. IN A paper published last year in Science Advances, Roland Geyer of Author: THE DATA TEAM. Dec 20, · Of the billion metric tons that has been produced, billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that, only nine percent has been recycled. .
Recycling in the U. In , Americans generated 2. And while many Americans dutifully put items into their recycling bins, much of it does not actually end up being recycled. This post will explain why, and talk about potential solutions. Many recyclables become contaminated when items are placed in the wrong bin, or when a dirty food container gets into the recycling bin. Contamination can prevent large batches of material from being recycled. Moreover, many items that are collected, such as plastic straws and bags, eating utensils, yogurt and takeout containers often cannot be recycled.
They usually end up being incinerated, deposited in landfills or washed into the ocean. While incineration is sometimes used to produce energy, waste-to-energy plants have been associated with toxic emissions in the past. Buckhorn Mesa landfill in AZ. Photo: Alan Levine. Landfills emit carbon dioxide, methane, volatile organic compounds and other hazardous pollutants into the air.
And our oceans are drowning in plastic waste. In , the U. An estimated 1. Recycling in Harbin, China. Photo: GabrieleBattaglia. The U. When these countries later instituted bans on imported plastic waste, the U. Experts estimate that 20 to 70 percent of plastic intended for recycling overseas is unusable and is ultimately discarded.
One study found that the plastic waste exported to Southeast Asia resulted in contaminated water, crop death, respiratory illnesses due to toxic fumes from incineration, and organized crime. Without the Chinese market for plastic — as well as for some types of cardboard, paper, and glass — the U. Some waste was simply discarded. Photo: Sarah. As a result, U. Over 70 ended curbside recycling though several have been reinstituted after public protests , and many drop-off sites closed; some programs increased costs to residents while others limited what materials they would accept.
Because U. Recycling in Baltimore. Photo: KristianBjornard. Making the situation more complicated—the U. That means companies coming together with communities, recyclers, haulers, manufacturers and consumers to try to make progress together. According to the EPA , of the Paper for recycling. Photo: Todd Lappin. Sixty-six percent of discarded paper and cardboard was recycled, 27 percent of glass, and 8 percent of plastics were recycled. Single-stream recycling, where all recyclables are placed into the same bin, has made recycling easier for consumers, but results in about one-quarter of the material being contaminated.
Plastic recycling presents the biggest challenge because the plastic is often contaminated by other materials and consumer goods companies are reluctant to buy recycled plastic unless it is as pure as virgin plastic. Plastic for recycling needs to be clean. Photo: Samuel A. Although companies that make and sell plastic push the idea that recycling is the answer to the plastic pollution problem, six times more plastic waste is incinerated than is recycled.
China used to accept plastics 3 through 7, which were mostly burned for fuel. Today 3 — 7 plastics may be collected in the U. Textiles are another large source of waste.
Only And while the fashion industry is trying to refashion old clothing and vintage items are now chic, this movement is not big enough to solve the problem.
Behind a NYC bagel shop. Photo: Sachi Yoshitsugu. Food waste is by tonnage the most significant source of waste, according to Mesa. And while waste to energy facilities exist in the U. As technology advances and as the search for green energy ramps up in U. The global market for high quality recycled materials is actually growing. Global demand for paper and cardboard is expected to grow by 1. Recycled paper and cardboard will be in demand. Photo: Paul Swanson. As a result, companies are trying to enhance the quality of recycled plastic as well as incorporate it into the plastic products they produce.
Plastic waste, especially PET and HDPE, is being recycled into packaging, building and constructions, electronics, automotive, furniture, textiles and more. The key to fixing recycling in the U. This means improving the technology for sorting and recovering materials, incorporating more recycled material into products, getting these products into the marketplace and creating demand for them. If recycling processors have a market where they can sell their material, they will be motivated to invest in better equipment that can sort materials to minimize contamination, and it will make economic sense to expand recycling programs.
San Francisco , which has set a zero waste goal for , keeps 80 percent of its waste out of landfills. The city requires residents and companies to separate their waste into three streams, employing blue bins for recyclables, green for compostables the city diverts 80 percent of its food waste and black for material intended for the landfill.
Food vendors have to use compostable or recyclable containers, and every event in San Francisco must offer recycling and composting. Starting July 1, stores will charge 25 cents for checkout bags, including bags for takeout and delivery. Los Angeles recycles almost 80 percent of its waste, with a goal to recycle 90 percent by Restaurants are required to compost their food waste, and companies get a break on their taxes based on how much they recycle.
In Austin, TX , which is aiming to divert 75 percent of its waste by this year, all properties must provide recycling and composting to their tenants and employees. Large construction projects must reuse or recycle at least half of their debris.
Germany recycles 56 percent of its trash by providing different colored bins for different colored glass and other items. The country uses the Green Dot recycling system: When a green dot is placed on packaging material, it indicates that the manufacturer contributes to the cost of collection and recycling. These manufacturers pay a license fee to a waste collection company that is calculated on weight in order to get their packaging picked up, sorted and recycled.
South Korea recycles about 54 percent of its trash, including 95 percent of its food waste. The country dramatically cut food waste by providing bins for organic waste that are weighed — the more they weigh, the more residents are charged. Recyclables are picked up for free, but there is a charge for disposal of other trash, determined by its weight. Recycling in Wales. Photo: Dave Goodman.
Japan requires residents to wash items, remove labels, and fold cartons, and waste must be labeled so that individuals are held accountable. Residents of the tiny village of Kamikatsu sort their trash into 34 categories, with the goal to achieve zero waste this year.
Taiwan recycles 55 percent of its residential and commercial trash, and 77 percent of its industrial waste. Recyclables are then sent to companies like Miniwiz that transform them into building materials. In addition, smart recycling booths accept bottles and cans in exchange for added value to transit cards. Minimizing contamination of recyclables and the flow of recyclable items to landfills requires consumer awareness.
Community events, campaigns, and brochures are necessary to educate residents about the importance of reusing, recycling and composting, as well as how to properly recycle in their particular community.
They need to understand which items are actually recyclable and which are not. These can be used to promote recycling and waste reduction. For example, residents and companies can be incentivized to reduce waste if they have to pay more for discarding more. Additional payments or a contract extension can encourage waste contractors to divert more waste. In , more than 37 states are considering over bills to deal with plastic pollution and recycling, according to the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.
These include bans on single-use plastic and food ware, single-use bag and polystyrene bans; bottle bills; holding producers responsible for product disposal; and other recycling laws.
The bill includes bans on single-use plastic bags and polystyrene; requirements for companies that make packaging or food ware to be responsible for their waste collection; a national container deposit system that would charge a refundable deposit on all single-use beverage bottles; standardized labeling on recycling bins; and a suspension on permits for the building of new plastic-producing plants. Eight states have bans on single-use plastic bags.
Jennie Romer, founder of PlasticBagLaws. On March 1, NYC instituted a plastic bag ban that charges 5 cents for taking a paper carry out bag. Extended producer responsibility EPR requires companies that make products to be responsible—financially or physically—for their management and disposal at the end of their lives.
Companies can do this through recycling or reusing products, buying them back, or they may hire a third party to deal with their waste management. EPR shifts the financial burden from local governments to manufacturers, which also motivates companies to design and produce more sustainable products. A reverse vending machine in Australia. Photo: Bidgee. Ten states already have bottle bills, and six more are considering them. Many companies are trying to come up with better ways of dealing with waste, from chemical recycling, which uses chemicals or high heat to turn plastic into its original components for reuse, to new ways to make recycling simpler.