Trashy Trivia

Here at JYBE we love trash facts. We love to read them. We love to tell you about them. We love to mention them on virtual happy hours. We are probably on the cusp of losing lots of friends because of it. Kidding.

garbage can, garbage, bucket

But I grew up learning with memory games. Rhyming things or coming up with other tricks to help me remember the 3 Rs. So, I think seeing factoids like these presented in different ways can be helpful in remembering them. Say it one way and maybe it doesn’t have an impact. Say it slightly differently and maybe it sticks. Or, I suppose, just take a screengrab and save it to your photos 😊

Here’s 25 things that may interest you:

  1. Landfills are among the biggest contributors to soil pollution – roughly 80% of the items buried in landfills could be recycled.
  2. A single recycled plastic bottle saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours. It also creates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than would be created when making a new bottle.
  3. It only takes 5 recycled plastic bottles to make enough fiberfill to stuff a ski jacket.
  4. The U.S. recycling rate is around 34.5%. If we’re able to get it to 75%, the effect will be like removing 50 million passenger cars from U.S. roads.
  5. The leading cities for recycling in the US are 1) San Francisco, 2) Boston, 3) Chicago, 4) Denver, and 5) Portland, OR.
  6. The leading countries for recycling rates are: 1) Switzerland 52%, 2) Australia 49.7%, 3) Germany 48%, 4) Netherlands 46%, and #5 Norway 40%. 
  7. The United States throws away $11.4 billion worth of recyclable containers and packaging every year.
  8. The amount of plastic film produced annually could shrink-wrap the state of Texas.
  9. There are 25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the oceans ‒ 269,000 tons float on the surface, while four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea.
  10. Over 100,000 marine animals die every year from plastic entanglement and ingestion.
  11. Glass, like aluminum, is infinitely recyclable – without any loss in purity or quality.
  12. Glass bottles have been reduced in weight by approximately 40% over the past 30 years.
  13. An estimated 80% of all glass containers recovered for recycling are re-melted in furnaces and used to manufacture new glass containers.  
  14. Americans use 65 billion aluminum soda cans each year.
  15. Aluminum cans make up less than 1% of waste in the United States because they are the #1 recycled item.
  16. There is no limit to the number of times you can recycle an aluminum can.
  17. After recycling, an aluminum can is usually repurposed within 60 days.
  18. Recycling just two aluminum cans save the same amount of energy it takes to power a PC for a single workday.
  19. You can make 20 new cans from recycled material using the same amount of energy that it takes to make 1 brand new can.
  20. The United States throws out the amount of office paper it would take to build a 12-foot wall from Los Angeles to New York City (2,794 miles).
  21. The average U.S. office worker goes through roughly 500 disposable cups annually.
  22. 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.
  23. For every 1 ton of paper that’s produced, roughly 390 gallons of oil is used to make it.
  24. A single American consumes roughly two trees annually in paper products.
  25. If 1/10 of all discarded American newspapers were recycled annually, approximately 25 million trees would be saved.
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