Recycling in General

Overall, Americans recovered 34% of waste generated in 2009. That means we threw away 161 million tons of material, which amounts to about 3 pounds of garbage per person per day.

In 2009, Americans recycled 82 million tons of materials generated in 2009. The resulting C02 emission reduction is equivalent to taking 33 million passengers vehicles off the road.

The recyclable materials in the U.S. waste stream would generate over $7 billion if they were recycled.

We have a long way to go....


  • In 2009, 3.4 million tons of aluminum were generated in the U.S. and 0.69 million tons were recovered.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run your television for 3 hours.
  • The amount of energy saved just from recycling aluminum cans in 2010 is equal to the energy equivalent of 17 million barrels of crude oil, or nearly 2 days of all U.S. oil imports.
  • Tossing away an aluminum can wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can's volume of gasoline.


  • In 2009, 25% of all electronics at the end of their useful "lives" were collected for recycling.
  • Only 17% (by weight) of all televisions at the "end-of-life" were recovered for recycling in 2009.

  • Only 8% (by weight) of all mobile phones no longer in use in 2009 were collected for recycling.
  • The average consumer replaces their mobile phone every 20.5 months.


  • in 2009, 12 million tons of glass were generated in the U.S. and 3 million tons were recovered.
  • Over a ton on natural resources are conserved for every ton of glass recycled, including 1300 lbs of sand, 410 lbs of soda ash, 380 lbs of limestone and 160 of feldspar.
  • Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours, power a computer for 30 minutes or a television for 20 minutes.


  • In 2010, Americans recovered 63.5% of  U.S. paper- and 89% increase in recovery sine 1990. However, we threw away $2.8 billion worth of paper.
  • Producing recycled paper take 40% less energy than producing paper from virgin wood pulp.
  • It take 24 trees to  make one ton of uncoated virgin (non-recycled) printing ans office paper.
  • Using recycled scrap paper instead of virgin materials save 7,000 gallons of water per ton of paper produced.
  • Recycled paper production created 74% lass air pollution 35% less water pollution than virgin paper production.


  • With 66.2% recycling rate, steel containers are one of the most recycled materials in the United States. Every minute, about 22,000 steel cans are recycled in the U.S.
  • Recycling steel and tin cans saves between 60 and 74 percent of the energy used to produce them from raw materials.


  • In 2009, we filled U.S. land fills with trash equivalent to the weight of 88 million cars.
  • In 2009, Americans produced enough trash to circle Earth 24 times.

We MUST do better, for the People, Planet, and Profit!

* Facts provided by www.kab.org (Keep America Beautiful)