Most people have heard how important it is to recycle and many cities offer recycling programs, but what exactly is recycling and how much does it actually help?


  • Each of us uses approximately one 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree in paper and wood products per year.
  • More than 56 percent of the paper consumed in the U.S. during 2007 was recovered for recycling an all-time high. This impressive figure equals nearly 360 pounds of paper for each man, woman, and child in America.
  • More than 400 paper mills in the United States use at least some recovered materials in their manufacturing processes, and more than 200 of those mills use recovered fiber exclusively.
  • The junk mail Americans receive in one day could produce enough energy to heat 250,000 homes.


  • Americans go through 25 billion plastic bottles every year.
  • Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap Texas. Royal Paper Stock processes 15 loads of shrink-wrap a month.
  • 26 recycled PET bottles equals a polyester suit. 5 recycled PET bottles make enough fiberfill to stuff a ski jacket.
  • Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.


  • Recycling steel and tin cans saves 74% of the energy used to produce them.
  • Energy saved from recycling one ton of aluminum is equal to the amount of electricity the average home uses over 10 years.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours or the equivalent of half a gallon of gasoline.
  • A steel mill using recycled scrap reduces related water pollution, air pollution and mining wastes by about 70%.
Facts courtesy of Oberlin College.

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