Out of all the things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint, recycling is among the most powerful and easy to do. According to Sustainablog.org, the U.S. only earned a C for recycling. Here are some interesting statistics:
- 251 million – tons of trash in the United States
- 82 million – tons of materials recycled in the United States
- 53.4 – percentage of all paper products recycled in the United States
- 32.5 – percentage of total waste that is recycled in the United States
- 100 – approximate percentage of increase in total recycling in the United States during the past decade
- 8,660 – number of curbside recycling programs in the United States in 2006
- 8,875 – number of curbside recycling programs in the United States in 2003
- 6 – weeks it takes to manufacture, fill, sell, recycle and re-manufacture an aluminum beverage can
- 95 – percentage of energy saved by recycling an aluminum can, compared with manufacturing a new one
- 4.6 – pounds of trash per person per day in the United States (most in the world)
- 1.5 – pounds of recycled materials per person per day in the United States
Here in Maryland, residents and businesses recycled more than 44 percent of solid waste in 2007, and we’re sure those numbers are much higher today with the growing number of single-stream recycling programs sprouting up over the state.
The Maryland Department of the Environment has a useful tool for finding recycling programs, as well as links to other useful recycling resources.