The categories below contain bookmarked or hyperlinked facts based on 11 commodities compiled by student interns in 2016.

•    Diverting 87.2 million tons of materials from landfills prevented the release of approximately 186 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the air in 2013—equivalent to taking over 39 million cars off the road for a year.

•    By reducing our waste 1% per year and recycling and composting 90% of our discards by 2030, we could save 406 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent every year. This is the equivalent to shutting down 21% of our nation’s coal-fired power plants. 
Platt, B., et. al., 2008. Stop Trashing the Climate

•    Waste incinerators emit more carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour than coal, natural gas, or oil-fired power plants.
U.S. EPA Clean Energy, 2008. How Does Electricity Effect the Environment. As cited in Stop Trashing the Climate.
•    Paper and paperboard recovery at about 43 million tons resulted in a reduction of 149 MMT CO2 in 2013. This is equivalent to removing 31 million cars from the road in one year.

•    In 2013, Americans recycled and composted over 87 million tons of MSW. This provides an annual reduction of more than 186 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, comparable to removing the emissions from over 39 million passenger vehicles from the road in one year            

•    Landfill gas capture systems may have lifetime recovery efficiencies as low as 20%. 
Bogner, J., et al, Waste Management, In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

•    Landfill methane emissions account for at least 5.2% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions on a 20-year time horizon. This is more than double the 100-year timeframe (1.8%)
B. Platt, et al., 2008. Stop Trashing the Climate.

•    Methane is 72 times more potent than CO2 over the short term, as measured by the 20-year time horizon. 
IPCC, 2007. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.

•    Americans recycled and composted almost 87 million tons of municipal solid waste. This provides an annual benefit of more than 168 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions reduced, comparable to the annual GHG emissions from over 33 million passenger cars

•    The disposal of solid waste produces greenhouse gas emissions in a number of ways. First, the anaerobic decomposition of waste in landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Second, the incineration of waste produces carbon dioxide as a by-product. In addition, the transportation of waste to disposal sites produces greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of the fuel used in the equipment. Finally, the disposal of materials indicates that they are being replaced by new products; this production often requires the use of fossil fuels to obtain raw materials and manufacture the items.

•    Recycling saves energy. Manufacturing goods from recycled materials typically requires less energy than producing goods from virgin materials. When people reuse goods or when products are made with less material, less energy is needed to extract, transport, and process raw materials and to manufacture products. When energy demand decreases, fewer fossil fuels are burned and less carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere.
•    Recycling helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions that affect global climate. In 2006, the national recycling rate of 32.5 percent (82 million tons recycled) prevented the release of approximately 49.7 million metric tons of carbon into the air--roughly the amount emitted annually by 39 million cars, or 1,300 trillion BTUs, saving energy equivalent to 10 billion gallons of gasoline.

•    In 2000, recycling resulted in an annual energy savings of at least 660 trillion BTUs, which equals the amount of energy used in 6 million households annually. In 2005, recycling is conservatively projected to save 900 trillion BTUs, equal to the annual energy use of 9 million households.

●    In the past 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than in all previous history. 
U.S. EPA, 2009. Sustainable Materials Management: The Road Ahead.

●    U.S. consumption grew sixfold between 1960 and 2008 but the U.S. population only grew by a factor of 2.2. This means consumption alone nearly tripled between 1960 and 2008. 
Worldwatch Institute, 2010. State of the World 2010.

●    The population is projected to increase by nearly 130 million people - the equivalent of adding another four states the size of California - by the year 2050.

●    For every 1 percent increase in GDP, resource use has risen 0.4 percent. Data indicate that global material resource use during the 20th century rose at about twice the rate of population.
●    With only 5.1% of the world’s population, North America consumes just over 24% of global energy. 
United Nations Environment Programme, 2007. Global Environment Outlook 4: Summary for Decision Makers.

●    The way we produce, consume and dispose of our products and our food accounts for 42% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. 
U.S. EPA, 2009. Opportunities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Materials and Land Management Practices.

●    Four primary materials industries—paper, metals, plastics, and glass—consume 30.2% of the energy used for all U.S. manufacturing. 
U.S. DOE Energy Information Administration, 2002. Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey.

●    The use of single-use plastic packaging, which is largely not recyclable, has grown from 120,000 tons in 1960 to 12.7 million tons in 2006. 
U.S. EPA, 2006. 2006 MSW Characterization Data Tables.

●    Americans throw out 200,000 tons of edible food daily.

●    The average American generates 52 tons of garbage by age 75.

●    Materials consumption in the United States is on average more than 50% higher than consumption in the European Union. 
World Resources Institute, 2005. Material Flows in the United States: A Physical Accounting of the U.S. Industrial Economy.

●    Industrialized nations, representing only 20% of the world’s population, consume 87 percent of the world’s printing and writing papers and global production in the pulp, paper and publishing sector is expected to increase by 77% from 1995 to 2020. The pulp and paper industry is the single largest consumer of water used in industrial activities in OECD countries and is the third greatest industrial greenhouse gas emitter, after the chemical and steel industries.

●    Measured by percentage of generation, products with the highest recovery rates in 2013 were lead-acid batteries (99 percent), corrugated boxes (88.5 percent), steel cans (70.6 percent), newspapers/mechanical papers (67.0 percent), yard trimmings (60.2 percent), major appliances (58.6 percent), aluminum cans (55.1 percent), mixed paper (41.3 percent), tires (40.5 percent) and selected consumer electronics (40.4 percent)

•    Since 1990, the total amount of MSW going to landfills dropped by 11 million tons, from 145.3 million to 134.3 million tons in 2013        

•    The United States creates 250 million tons of garbage a year and recycles about 85 tons of it – 30 percent of the waste stream. The total waste stream is currently 25 percent paper and about 25 percent food and yard waste.

•    The recovery of containers and packaging was the highest of the four product categories, with over 51 percent of the generated materials recycled.

•    Paper products, steel and aluminum were the most recycled materials by percentage in this category. Over 75 percent of paper and paperboard containers and packaging was recycled.

•    Over 72 percent of steel packaging (mostly cans) was recycled. The recycling rate for aluminum packaging was almost 39 percent, including over 55 percent of aluminum beverage cans.        

•    The U.S. recycles about 30 percent of C&D waste, not including road and bridge waste, which is already very efficiently recycled. Demolition is the main source of C&D waste at 53 percent. Only 9 percent of waste is from new construction, and renovation accounts for the remaining 38 percent. Currently, about 0.5 percent of construction waste is reused.

•    Recycling and composting prevented 87.2 million tons of material from being disposed in 2013, up from 15 million tons in 1980.

•    Thirty-four percent of glass containers were recycled, while over 26 percent of wood packaging (mostly wood pallets) was recovered. Over 14 percent of plastic containers and packaging were recycled—mostly from soft drink, milk and water bottles.

•    Plastic bottles were the most recycled plastic products. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and jars were recovered at over 31 percent. -Recovery of high density polyethylene (HDPE) natural (white translucent) bottles was also estimated at over 28 percent            

•    In 2013, Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash and recycled and composted about 87 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 34.3 percent recycling rate. On average, we recycled and composted 1.51 pounds of our individual waste generation of 4.40 pounds per person per day.

•    Nationally, the composting of food rose from 1.74 million tons in 2012 (4.8 percent of food) to 1.84 million tons in 2013 (5.0 percent of food).        

•    In 2013, the rate of lead-acid battery recovery was about 99 percent (2.85 million tons). The rate of newspapers/ mechanical papers recovery was about 67 percent (5.4 million tons), and over 60 percent (20.6 million tons) of yard trimmings were recovered (see Figure 3). About 134.3 million tons of MSW (52.8 percent) were discarded in landfills in 2013          

•    620 million pounds of electronics had been recycled in 2013, up from 300 million pounds in 2010. In addition, more than 99 percent of these electronics is now being recycled in third party certified facilities.

•    In 2013, Americans recovered over 64.7 million tons of MSW through recycling, and over 22 million tons through composting. This is 1.12 pounds per person per day for recycling and 0.39 pounds per person per day for composting.              

•    Recycling and composting almost 87 million tons of MSW saved more than 1.1 quadrillion Btu of energy; that’s the same amount of energy consumed by almost 10 million U.S. households in a year                

•    Recycling saves 3 to 5 times the energy that waste incinerator power plants generate. When we burn trash, this is akin to spending 3 to 5 units of energy to make 1. 
J. Morris, 1996. RecyclingVersus Incineration: An Energy Conservation Analysis.

•    In 1999, recycling and composting activities prevented about 64 million tons of material from ending up in landfills and incinerators. Today, this country recycles 32.5 percent of its waste, a rate that has almost doubled during the past 15 years.

•    In 2012, Americans recycled and composted about 34.5 percent of the 251 million tons of trash they generated over the year. About 11.7 percent of U.S. waste was used as fuel in power plants, and the rest (53.8 percent) found its way to landfills.

•    Twenty years ago, only one curbside recycling program existed in the United States, which collected several materials at the curb. By 2006, about 8,660 curbside programs had sprouted up across the nation. As of 2005, about 500 materials recovery facilities had been established to process the collected materials.

•    In 2013, the rate of yard trimmings composting was 60.2 percent (20.60 million tons), up from 57.7 percent (19.59 million tons). This translates to 130 pounds per person per year of yard trimmings composted in 2013.        

•    In 2013, the rate of selected consumer electronics recovery was 40.4 percent (1.27 million tons) up from 30.6 percent in 2012 (1.00 million tons). This translates to 8 pounds per person per year recovered in 2013.          

•    In 2013, the rate of food recovery was 5.0 percent (1.84 million tons), up from 4.8 percent in 2012 (1.74 million tons). This translates to 12 pounds per person per year composted in 2013

•    In the United States, according to the U.S. Recycling Economic Information Study, there are more than 56,000 recycling and reuse establishments in US and they employ approximately 1.1 million people. This number of workers is comparable to the automobile and truck manufacturing industry in the region, and is significantly larger than the mining and waste management and disposal industries there. In addition, wages for workers in the recycling industry are notably higher than the national average for all industries. Overall, annual revenues of about $236 billions are generated.

•    In addition to creating more jobs and greater economic activity at the local level, recycling generates $200 million per year in sales tax revenue.                
•    In 2011 it was estimated that over 2.3 million people worked in and around the recycling business. And for every 1 job in waste management there are 4 jobs in the recycling industry.

•    Household, commercial and drop-off recyclables go to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Such facilities are served by more than 15,000 trucks and employ 50,000 to 60,000 people in the United States.

•    Recycling a ton of “waste” has twice the economic impact of burying it in the ground. In addition, recycling one additional ton of waste will pay $101 more in salaries and wages, produce $275 more in goods and services, and generate $135 more in sales than disposing of it in a landfill.            

•    Recycling construction and demolition (C&D) waste creates 8 jobs per 1,000 tons of waste versus the 1.3 jobs per 1,000 tons created by conventional waste disposal.

•    When you recycle, more jobs are created than when you merely discharge your waste. Dumping 10,000 tons of waste in a landfill creates six jobs while recycling 10,000 tons of waste creates 36 jobs.

•    In 2010, the U.S. recycling industry sold 44 million metric tons of recycled materials valued at almost $30 billion to over 154 countries around the world.

•    Recycling also produces substantial energy savings of up to 87 percent for mixed plastics and 92 percent for aluminum cans.

•    The recycling and reuse industry supports 3.1% of the paid jobs in the United States – 0.9% through direct employment, and 2.2% (contributed equally) by industry and employee spending in the economy. Some 2.7% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is attributable to the recycling and reuse industry, with 0.7% provided directly by the industry. 
R.W. Beck, Inc., 2001. U.S. Recycling Economic Information Study.

•    U.S. scrap recycling is a $65 billion industry employing 50,000 people and managing 145 million tons of materials every year. Scrap is our second-largest export to China. 
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, 2007. Scrap Recycling Industry Facts.
•    The United States hosts 56,061 recycling and reuse establishments that employ approximately 1.1 million people, generate an annual payroll of $37 billion, and gross $236 billion in annual revenues. Economic modeling estimated that nearly 1.4 million jobs are maintained in support businesses because of the recycling and reuse industry. 
R.W. Beck, Inc., 2001. U.S. Recycling Economic Information Study.

    •    The energy we save when we recycle one glass bottle is enough to light a light bulb for four hours.

    •    Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity.
    -One ton of recycled glass saves:
    ●    42 kWh of electricity.
    ●    5 gallons of oil.
    ●    714.3 Btu’s of energy.
    ●    2 cubic yards of landfill space.
    ●    7.5 pounds of air pollutants from being released.
    ●    1,330 pounds of sand.
    ●    433 pounds of soda ash.
    ●    433 pounds of limestone.
    ●    151 pounds of feldspar.

    •    Recycled glass can be substituted for up to 95% of raw materials in the production of glass. Recycled glass is always part of the recipe for glass, and the more that is used, the greater the decrease in energy used in the furnace. This makes using recycled glass profitable in the long run, lowering costs for glass container manufacturers—and benefiting the environment.
    •    Glass containers for food and beverages are 100% recyclable, but not with other types of glass. Other kinds of glass, like windows, ovenware, Pyrex, crystal, etc. are manufactured through a different process. If these materials are introduced into the glass container manufacturing process, they can cause production problems and defective containers.Furnace-ready cullet must also be free of contaminants such as metals, ceramics, gravel, stones, etc.
    •    Some recycled glass containers are not able to be used in the manufacture of new glass bottles and jars or to make fiberglass. This may be because there is too much contamination or the recycled glass pieces are too small to meet manufacturing specifications. Or, it may be that there is not a nearby market for bottle-to-bottle recycling. This recovered glass is then used for non-container glass products. These "secondary" uses for recycled container glass can include tile, filtration, sand blasting, concrete pavements and parking lots.
    •    The container and fiberglass industries collectively purchase 3 million tons of recycled glass annually, which is remelted and repurposed for use in the production of new containers and fiberglass products.
    •    Energy costs drop about 2-3% for every 10% cullet used in the manufacturing process.
    •    One ton of carbon dioxide is reduced for every six tons of recycled container glass used in the manufacturing process.
    •    Every ton of new bottles and jars made using recycled glass rather than raw materials prevents the emission of 670 kg of CO2.
    •    There are 46 glass manufacturing plants operating in 22 states.  16 companies operate 51 glass beneficiating facilties (aka "glass processing" plants) in 27 states.
    •    An estimated 80 percent of recovered glass containers are made into new glass bottles. A glass container can go from a recycling bin to a store shelf in as little as 30 days.
    •    In 2009, according to the U.S. EPA, glass made up 4.8 percent of the municipal solid waste stream.
    •    Recycling every ton of glass, we can save more than 1 ton of natural resources. This one ton of resources include and 151 lbs. of feldspar, 433 lbs. of limestone433 lbs. of soda ash and 1,330 lbs. of sand.
    •    Producing one ton of new glass from raw materials generate approximately 384 pounds of mining waste, but using recycled glass instead of raw materials can cut this number by almost 75 percent.
    •    In the United States, at least 25 percent of all glass containers contain recycled glass. And 75 percent of all glass is used in packaging.
    •    In 2013, 41.3% of beer and soft drink bottles were recovered for recycling, according to the U.S. EPA. Another 34.5% of wine and liquor bottles and 15% of food and other glass jars were recycled. In total, 34% of all glass containers were recycled, equivalent to taking 210,000 cars off the road each year.
    •    States with container deposit legislation have an average glass container recycling rate of just over 63%, while non-deposit states only reach about 24%.
    •    Beverage container deposit systems provide 11 to 38 times more direct jobs than curbside recycling systems for beverage containers.
    •    About 18% of beverages are consumed on premise, like a bar, restaurant, or hotel. And glass makes up to about 80% of that container mix.
    •    Glass bottles have been reduced in weight approximately 40% over the past 30 years.
    •    Manufacturers benefit from recycling in several ways—it reduces emissions and consumption of raw materials, extends the life of plant equipment, such as furnaces, and saves energy.
    •    An estimated 80% of all glass containers recovered for recycling are remelted in furnaces, and used in the manufacture of new glass containers.  Source, Strategic Materials, Inc.
    •    Glass takes 1,000,000 years to fully degrade in a landfill.

    •    Recycling glass takes 30% of the energy required to produce glass from raw materials.

    •    The United States throws away enough glass every week to fill a 1,350-foot building.

    •    Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt lightbulb for four hours.

    •    Every minute an average of 123,097 aluminum cans are recycled.

    •    On average, Americans recycle 2 out of every 3 aluminum cans they use.

    •    The average aluminum can contains more than 50% post-consumer recycled aluminum.
    •    Twenty years ago, it took 19 aluminum cans to make one pound, but today's aluminum cans are lighter and it now takes 29 cans to make a pound! That means less aluminum is wasted, saving energy and other environmental resources
    •    Tossing away an aluminum can wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can's volume of gasoline.

    •    Making aluminum cans from recycled aluminum takes 95% less energy than making cans from virgin ore.
    •    20 recycled aluminum cans can be manufactured with the energy needed to produce one can from virgin ore.
    •    Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your television for three hours.
    •    We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year
    •    Making beverage cans from recycled aluminum cuts air pollution by about 95%.
    •    More than one million tons of aluminum containers and packaging (soda cans, TV dinner trays, aluminum foil) are thrown away each year.
    •    Americans throw away enough aluminum every three months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.
    •    Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the U.S., but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
    •    Last year, approximately 36 billion aluminum cans were landfilled. The cans that were thrown away had an estimated scrap value of more than $600 million.
    •    It is estimated that over the past twenty years, we've trashed more than 11 million tons of aluminum beverage cans worth over $12 billion on today's market.
    •    Recycling aluminum cans saves 95 percent of the energy required to make the same amount of aluminum from its virgin source, bauxite.

    •    The aluminum industry pays out more than 800 million dollars a year for recycled cans. The U.S. industry can recycling rate is approximately 67 percent, thus nearly a billion dollars of recycling profit can be gained a year.

    •    Nearly 75 percent of all aluminum produced in the U.S. is still in use today. Aluminum can be recycled over and over again without any loss to quality.

    •    In 2013, the industry recycled 1.72 billion pounds of used aluminum beverage cans – the equivalent of 60.2 billion cans. Since it takes just 8 percent of the energy to produce recycled aluminum versus new aluminum, energy saved from this effort is enough to fuel more than 1 million cars on the road for a full year.:

    •    In 2013, $812 million worth of aluminum cans were not recycled, and subsequently ended up in landfills.

    One ton of recycled Aluminum saves:    
    ●    14,000 kWh of electricity.
    ●    1,663 gallons of oil.
    ●    237.6 million Btu’s of energy.
    ●    10 cubic yards of landfill space.

    •    The aluminum industry is among the most energy intensive in the world, accounting for 3% of global electricity use. Producing aluminum from recycled sources uses only 5-10% of the energy needed to make virgin aluminum, and avoids toxic mining wastes associated with mining bauxite ore.
    Worldwatch Institute, 2009. World Metal Production Surges.

    •    Aluminum takes 200-500 years to fully degrade in a landfill.

    •    In 2003, only about 44% of aluminum beverage cans in the United States were recycled. If we had recycled this metal instead of landfilling it, we could have saved 36.7 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, enough to power 3.5 million U.S. households for a whole year.
    Worldwatch Institute,2006. Vital Signs 2006-2007.

    •    A 60-watt light bulb can be run for over a day on the amount of energy saved by recycling 1 pound of steel. In one year in the United States, the recycling of steel saves enough energy to heat and light 18,000,000 homes 

    •    The Auto scrap recycling business has over $3.7 billion in sales annually, and employs 40,000 people at more than 7,000 businesses in the U.S.

    •    Recycled steel is used to make new steel products including packaging, cars, lawnmowers, appliances, and construction materials. All new steel products contain at least some recycled steel.

    •    Making new steel products from recycled steel instead of virgin ore reduces water use by 40%, water pollution by 76%, air pollution by 86%, and mining wastes by 97%.

    •    It takes four times more energy to make steel from virgin ore than from recycled steel.

    •    Enough energy is saved each year by recycling steel to supply the city of Los Angeles with almost a decade worth of electricity.

    •    For every ton of steel recycled, 2500 pounds of iron ore, 1000 pounds of coal and 40 pounds of limestone are preserved.

    •    The average American throws out about 61 lbs. of steel or bi-metal cans every month

    One ton of recycled steel saves: 
    ●    642 kWh of electricity.
    ●    76 gallons of oil.
    ●    10.9 million Btu’s of energy.
    ●    4 cubic yards of landfill space.
    ●    2,500 pounds of iron ore.

    •    Steel takes up to 100 years to fully degrade in a landfill.

    •    Recycling steel takes 25% less energy and creates only 25% the water and air pollution required to produce steel from raw materials.

    •    About 70% of all metal is used just once, then discarded. The remaining 30% is recycled, but after 5-cycles only 0.25% remains in circulation.

    •    The United States throws away enough iron and steel to continuously supply all of the nation’s automakers.

    •    Tin cans are made up mostly of steel, containing only about 0.15% tin and are 100% recyclable.

    •    630 steel cans are recycled every second in the U.S.

    •    Iron and steel are the world's most recycled materials and among the easiest materials to recprocess.  This is due to the ability to incorporate magnets in the waste stream separation process.

    •    42% of crude steel is made from recycled material.

    •    Mining wastes, air pollution, and water pollution are reduced by about 70% when a steel mill uses recycled metal scraps.

    •    Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees.
    •    Collectively, the recovery of other paper products such as of ce paper and magazines was over 41 percent in 2013.                
    •    Production of 1 ton of copy paper produces 5,690 lb. of greenhouse gases (the equivalent of 6 months of car exhaust)
    Paulson, Raymond. "Green Procurement Requirements and the Use of 100% Post Consumer Fiber Paper." Organization: NADEP North Island; Environmental Program Office, 2005
    •    Dumping paper in landfill adds methane to the atmosphere as it decomposes, with 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
    Paulson, Raymond. "Green Procurement Requirements and the Use of 100% Post Consumer Fiber Paper." Organization: NADEP North Island; Environmental Program Office, 2005

    •    Paper can endure the recycling process approximately 7 times before the fibers become too short.
    Pacific Materials Exchange, 2002

    •    Making copy paper from 100% recycled content fiber instead of 100% virgin forest fibers reduces total energy consumption by 44%, net greenhouse gas emissions by 38%, particulate emissions by 41%, wastewater by 50%, solid waste by 49% and wood use by 100%. 
    Environmental PaperNetwork, 2007. State of the Paper Industry.

    •    If the United States cut its office paper use by roughly 10%, we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.6 million tons, the equivalent of taking 280,000 cars off the road for a year. 
    Environmental Paper Network, 2007. State of the Paper Industry.

    •    In 2004 the United States used 8 million tons of office paper (3.2 billion reams). That’s the equivalent of 178 million trees!
    Paulson, Raymond. "Green Procurement Requirements and the Use of 100% Post Consumer Fiber Paper." Organization: NADEP North Island; Environmental Program Office, 2005

    •    The U.S. is by far the world’s largest producer and consumer of paper. Per capita U.S. paper consumption is over six times greater than the world average.
    Paulson, Raymond. "Green Procurement Requirements and the Use of 100% Post Consumer Fiber Paper." Organization: NADEP North Island; Environmental Program Office, 2005

    •    In the United States, we use enough office paper each year to build a 10-foot-high wall that’s 6,815 miles long. That’s more than the distance from New York to Tokyo!7

    •    The U.S. pulp and paper industry is the second largest consumer of energy and uses more water to produce a ton of product than any other industry
    Paulson, Raymond. "Green Procurement Requirements and the Use of 100% Post Consumer Fiber Paper." Organization: NADEP North Island; Environmental Program Office, 2005

    •    Production of 1 ton of copy paper uses 11,134 kWh (same amount of energy used by an avg household in 10 months)
    Paulson, Raymond. "Green Procurement Requirements and the Use of 100% Post Consumer Fiber Paper." Organization: NADEP North Island; Environmental Program Office, 2005

    •    Making one single sheet of copy paper can use over 13oz. of water– more than a typical soda can
    Paulson, Raymond. "Green Procurement Requirements and the Use of 100% Post Consumer Fiber Paper." Organization: NADEP North Island; Environmental Program Office, 2005

    •    Production of 1 ton of copy paper produces 19,075 gallons of waste water
    Paulson, Raymond. "Green Procurement Requirements and the Use of 100% Post Consumer Fiber Paper." Organization: NADEP North Island; Environmental Program Office, 2005

    •    Recycling one ton of paper can save enough energy to power the average American home for six months, save 7000 gallons of water, save 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, and save one metric ton of greenhouse gases (MTCE). 
    U.S. EPA, 2010. Common Wastes & Materials: Benefits of Paper Recycling.

    •    More than 100 million trees’ worth of bulk mail arrive in American mail boxes each year – that’s the equivalent of deforesting the entire Rocky Mountain National Park every four months. 
            (New American Dream calculation from Conservatree and U.S. Forest Service statistics) 

    •    5.4 million tons of catalogs and other direct mailings ended up in the U.S. municipal solid waste stream in 2003. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) 

    •    The production and disposal of junk mail consumes more energy than 2.8 million cars. 
    (New American Dream calculation from U.S. Department of Energy and the Paper Task Force statistics) 

    •    The average U.S. citizen uses more than 300 kilograms of paper annually, and the average Japanese uses 250 kilograms. People in developing countries, in contrast, use only 18 kilograms of paper a year on average—in = India, the figure is 4 kilos, while in 20 countries in Africa, it's = less than 1 kilo. (The United Nations estimates that 30-40 kilos is the minimum needed to meet basic literacy and = communication needs.)1

    •    Producing one ton of paper requires 2-3 times its weight in trees. Newly cut trees account for 55 percent of the global paper supply, while 38 percent is from recycled wood-based paper, and the remaining 7 percent comes from non-tree sources

    •    The pulp and paper industry is the world's fifth largest industrial consumer of energy and uses more water to produce a ton of product than any other industry

    •    Making paper from recycled content rather than virgin fiber creates 74 percent less air pollution and 35 percent less water pollution. Yet the share of total paper fiber coming from recycled material has grown only modestly from 20 percent in 1921 to 38 percent today.1

    •    The group Environmental Defense estimates that if the entire U.S. catalog industry switched its publications to just 10-percent recycled content paper, the savings in wood alone would be enough to stretch a 1.8-meter-high fence across the United States seven times.1

    •    The Gutenberg Bible, the first and second drafts of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and the original works of Mark Twain were all printed on hemp- based papers.

    •    The United States has only 6% of the world population, but produces half of the world's garbage.1

    •    Recycling one glass bottle saves enough electricity to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours.

    •    75,000 trees must be cut to provide paper for one edition of the Sunday New York Times.

    •    The United States generates approximately 208 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) a year. That's 4.3 pounds per person per day.

    • One ton of recycled paper saves 3,700 pounds of lumber and 24,000 gallons of water.
    • One ton of recycled paper uses: 64% less energy, 50% less water, 74% less air pollution, saves 17 trees and creates 5 times more jobs than one ton of paper products from virgin wood pulp.
    • Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 trees (35’ tall), 2 barrels of oil (enough fuel to run the average car for 1260 miles or from Dallas to Los Angeles), 4100 kilowatts of energy (enough power for the average home for 6 months), 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space (one family size pick-up truck) and 60 pounds of air pollution. (Trash to Cash, 1996). 
    • It takes one 15-year old tree to produce half a box of paper. Use both sides of all paper. (Midpoint International). 
    • Recycled paper saves 60% energy vs. virgin paper (Center for Ecological Technology). 
    • Every year enough paper is thrown away to make a 12’ wall from New York to California
    • Everyday Americans buy 62 million newspapers and throw out 44 million. That’s the equivalent of dumping 500,000 trees into a landfill every week.
    • If everyone in the U.S. recycled just 1/10 of their newsprint, we would save the estimated equivalent of about 25 million trees a year.
    • It takes 75,000 trees to print a Sunday Edition of the New York Times.
    • If we recycled all of the newspapers for one Sunday, we would save 550,000 trees or about 26 millions trees per year. (CA Dept of Conservation, 1995)

    One ton of recycled plastic saves: 
    ●    5,774 kWh of elecetricity.
    ●    685 gallons of oil.
    ●    98 million Btu’s of energy.
    ●    30 cubic yards of landfill space.

    •    Americans discard about 33.6 million tons of plastic each year, but only 6.5 percent of it is recycled and 7.7 percent is combusted in waste-to-energy facilities

    •    Plastic takes up to 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill.

    •    Recycling plastic takes 88% less energy than making plastic from raw materials.

    •    Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times.

    •    Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles every year.

    •    Only about 25% of the plastic produced in the U.S. is recycled.

    •    If we recycled the other 75% we could save 1 billion gallons of oil and 44 million cubic yards of landfill space annually.

    •    A plastic bottle of drinking water contains on average 4 cents worth of water.

    •    By using reusable drink containers an average person can eliminate the need for 100 disposable bottles per year.

    •    Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour

    •    Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator

    •    Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year.

    •    Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures a year

    •    Heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It's twice the size of Texas and is floating somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. It's also 80 percent plastic, and weighs in at 3.5 million tons.

    •    The recycling rate of 32.5 percent in 2006 saved the carbon emission equivalent of taking 39.4 million cars off the road, and the energy equivalent of 6.8 million households’ annual energy consumption, or 222.1 million barrels of oil.

    •    At least 90 percent of the price of a bottle of water is for things other than the water itself, like bottling, packaging, shipping and marketing

    •    Recycling one ton of plastic saves the equivalent of 1,000–2,000 gallons of gasoline

    •    For every 1 ton of plastic that is recycled we save the equivalent of 2 people’s energy use for 1 year, the amount of water used by 1 person in 2 month’s time and almost 2000 pounds of oil.

    •    Five plastic bottles (PET) recycled provides enough fiber to create one square feet of carpet or enough fiber fill to fill one ski jacket.
    •    369 million pounds of recycled PET (rPET) content was reused for food and beverage containers in 2013.
    •    56% of recycled PET finds a market in the manufacture of carpet and clothing.

    •    29% of recycled HDPE bottles go into making new bottles.

    •    Most families throw away about 40 kg plastic a year.

    •    There are about 1,000 milk jugs and other bottles in a recycled plastic park bench.

    •    Plastics make up 11% by weight of the contents of the average household dustbin.

    •    In the Los Angeles area alone, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments—like grocery bags, straws and soda bottles—are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day.

    •    The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year.

    •    Plastic accounts for around 10 percent of the total waste we generate.

    •    The production of plastic uses around eight percent of the world’s oil production

    •    Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute.

    •    Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body—93 percent of Americans age six or older test positive for BPA (a plastic chemical).

    • We fill 63,000 garbage trucks every day in this country-lined up they would stretch 400 miles. (Nat’l Audubon Society, 1994)
    • In 1995, the United States generated 208 million tons of municipal solid waste-an average of 4.3 pounds of waste per person per day. (EPA, 1996)
    • In 1991, there were more than 7 million copiers in operation in the U.S. These copiers produce nearly 400 billion copies per year (almost 750,000 copies a minute). (The Recycle Planner, 1992)
    • One out of every 10 dollars we spend at stores is for packaging. Packaging is 1/3 of our waste by weight or 1/2 by volume. (Worldwatch Institute, 1996)
    • If every household in the U.S. reused a paper grocery bag for one shopping trip, about 60,000 trees would be saved. (S.C. Office of Solid Waste Reduction, 1996)

    ●    The breakdown of the 254 million tons of MSW generated in 2013 by product category follows. Containers and packaging make up the largest portion of MSW generated: 29.8 percent, or over 75 million tons. Nondurable and durable goods each make up about 20.3 percent (over 51 million tons) each. Food makes up 14.6 percent (37million tons), yard trimmings make up 13.5 percent (34 million tons) and other wastes make up 1.5 percent (4 million tons). 
    ●    In 2013, 530 million tons of C&D debris were generated.Portland cement concrete is the largest portion (67 percent), followed by asphalt concrete (18 percent). Wood products make up eight percent and the other products account for seven percent combined.  
    ●    In 2013, roads and bridges contributed significantly more to C&D debris generation than buildings and other structures, and Portland cement concrete made up the largest share of C&D debris generation for all three categories. 
    ●    One half to three quarters of annual resource inputs to industrial economies is returned to the environment as wastes within just one year. 
    World Resource Institute, 2000. Weight of Nations: Material Outflows from IndustrialEconomies.

    ●    If we continue on the same wasting path with rising per capita waste generation rates and stagnating recycling and composting, Americans could generate 301 million tons per year of municipal solid waste by 2030, a 20% increase from 2006. 
    B. Platt et al., 2008. Stop Trashing the Climate.

    ●    There are now an estimated 6.6 billion cell phones in use. In the USA, the average time between upgrading phones is 18 months, even though most phones will still be functional.

    ●    The U.S. buried or burned more than 166 million tons of resources—paper, plastic, metals, glass and organic materials—in landfills and incinerators in 2008. We recycled and composted only one-third of our discards. 
    U.S. EPA, 2009. Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States, Detailed Tables and Figures for 2008.

    ●    For every ton of discarded products and materials destroyed by incinerators and landfills, about 71 tons of manufacturing, mining, oil and gas exploration, agricultural, coal combustion, and other discards are produced. 
    B. Platt et al., 2000. Wasting and Recycling in the U.S.

    •    Forty percent of solid waste in the United States is from construction and demolition, 170 to 200 million tons per year.

    ●    Paper and paperboard account for 27 percent and yard trimmings and food account for another 28 percent. Plastics comprise about 13 percent; metals make up 9 percent; and rubber, leather, and textiles account for 9 percent. Wood follows at around 6 percent and glass at 5 percent. Other miscellaneous wastes make up approximately 3 percent of the MSW generated in 2013.

    ●    In 2009, there were more than 2,000 landfills in the U.S., and an additional 1,300 landfills for construction debris. There were also 126 waste to energy facilities. 
    Waste Business Journal, 2010. Directory of Waste Processing & Disposal Sites 2010.