We all know that it is quite important to recycle. Recycling can help save money, energy, and perhaps most important it can help save our environment. Today, I am going to share some interesting facts about recycling with you. Hopefully after seeing some of these facts you all will be more aware of what materials can be recycled and how big of a difference recycling can make. I hope you enjoy these fun facts, and feel free to comment and start a discussion below, as I would love to see what some of you have to say!
Recycling has really been brought to the forefront of our minds in recent years, but did you know that it has been a common practice for most of human history? There are historians who can trace recycling back to as far as 400 B.C. In fact, during tough periods when resources were scarce, archeologists have found that trash dumps show less household waste, pointing to the fact that people were finding ways to reuse some of their goods.
Before the industrial times, there is evidence pointing to the collection of scrap metals such as bronze and being melted down for reuse. Another interesting fact, is that in Britain it was common practice to gather ash from wood and coal fires so that they could be used in the making of bricks.
When the industrial age came, recycling really started to boom. Many manufacturing companies wanted to use scrap metals because it was far more cheaper than virgin ores and metals. Some of the biggest purchasers of scrap metal were the railroad, steel, and automobile companies. During the world wars, recycling was very important due to the lack of resources readily available. Most countries’ governments encouraged their citizens to donate metals and fabrics, as a matter of patriotic importance.
Finally, the most recent boom in recycling’s history came in the 1970s when energy costs started to rise. One interesting fact that spurred the recycling movement is that using recycled aluminum uses only 5% of the energy needed to create a product from virgin aluminum. Combine that with some of the amazing facts below and you will quickly see how that can add up.
Here are some eye-opening facts about the impact recycling can have.
- Fun Fact – An aluminum can is recycled and put back on the shelves in as little as 60 days. They are also the most recycled item in the United States.
- Fun Fact – Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for up to three hours.
- Fun Fact – Aluminum cans can be recycled over and over again, there is no limit!
- Fun Fact – Each year, we use over 80 billion aluminum cans.
- Fun Fact – If all the newspapers in the world were recycled, we could save about 250 million trees a year.
- Fun Fact – The US discards enough aluminum to rebuild the US commercial air fleet four times over.
- Interesting Fact – An aluminum can which is thrown away, will still be an aluminum can in 500 years.
- Interesting Fact – To produce the Sunday newspaper across the world 500,000 trees must be cut down.
- Interesting Fact – Recycling a single run of the New York Times Sunday edition would save 75,000 trees.
- Interesting Fact – The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.
- Interesting Fact – A glass bottle takes over 4,000 years to decompose.
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