Why Recycle

The term recycling is one that has become familiar to most everyone in the past few years.  We know that old things can be turned into new things and that the less garbage we produce, less waste needs to be handled at the landfill.  Here are some interesting statistics on the use of resources, and how they affect your daily life.

  • The average person generates 4.5 pounds of trash every day which equals about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year. Although the EPA estimates that 75 percent of solid waste is recyclable, only about 30 percent is actually recycled.
  • According to the National Association of Home Builders, a typical 2,200 sq.ft. home requires 13,000 board feet of framing lumber.  If laid end to end, that framing lumber would stretch 2.5 miles.
  • Home construction, remodeling and demolition projects are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of the nation’s annual municipal solid waste.
  • In the USA, organic waste is the second highest component of landfills, which are the largest source of methane emissions.  30-40% of the food supply is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person per month.
  • American’s generate 21.5 million tons of food waste each year. If we composted that food, it would reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas as taking 2 million cars off the road.
  • Recycling one ton of aluminum cans conserves equivalent to 26 barrels of oil, over 130 million BTU’s, or 1,665 gallons of gasoline.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on an iPod. Recycling 100 cans could light a bedroom for two full weeks.
  • If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year.
  • Two hundred million gallons of used oil are improperly disposed of each year.  Recycling just 2 gallons of used oil can generate enough electricity to run the average household for almost 24 hours.
  • Americans generated 11.5 million tons of glass in the municipal solid waste.
  • The U.S. generates about 82 pounds of waste textiles per person every year, according to the Council for Textile Recycling. Twelve pounds of that are recycled, leaving 70 pounds to be hauled off to landfills.

The recycling movement has made much progress in the last 20 years, but there is still much to be done.  If you have any questions regarding your recycling, contact Papillion Sanitation at 402-346-7800, or visit our website www.papillion-sanitation.com.