Information is provided by the National Recycling Coalition, Inc.
American companies rely on recycling programs to provide the raw materials they need to make new products.
Recycling in the U.S. is a $236 billion a year industry. More than 56,000 recycling and reuse enterprises employ 1.1 million workers nationwide.
The average American discards seven and a half pounds of garbage every day. Most of this garbage goes into to landfills, where it's compacted and buried.
Recycling requires far less energy, uses fewer natural resources, and keeps waste from piling up in landfills.
Recycling offers significant energy savings over manufacturing with virgin materials. (Manufacturing with recycled aluminum cans uses 95% less energy.)
No one wants to live next door to a landfill. Recycling preserves existing landfill space.
In 2000, recycling of solid waste prevented the release of 32.9 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCE, the unit of measure for greenhouse gases) into the air.
Making goods from recycled materials generates far less water pollution than manufacturing from virgin materials.
Using recycled materials reduces the need to damage forests, wetlands, rivers and other places essential to wildlife.
Recycling and buying recycled products creates demand for more recycled products, decreasing waste and helping our economy.