Trash ‘Merica

  1. The average person generates over 4 pounds of trash every day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year.
  2. In 2009, Americans produced enough trash to circle the Earth 24 times.
  3. Over 75% of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it.
  4. We 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.
  5. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on your iPod. Recycling 100 cans could light your bedroom for two whole weeks.
  6. Recycling aluminum cans saves 95% of the energy used to make alum cans from new material.
  7. Americans throw away 25,000,000 plastic bottles every hour.
  8. Over 87% of Americans have access to curbside or drop-off paper recycling programs.
  9. In 2009, Americans threw away almost 9 million tons of glass. That could fill enough tractor trailers to stretch from NYC to LA (and back!).
  10. In 2010, paper recycling had increased over 89% since 1990.
  11. If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year.
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