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Fun Facts About Recycling ..

Did You Know...

Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy and 7,000 gallons of water!

Americans use more than 67 million tons of paper per year, or about 580 pounds per person.

Paper products make up the largest part (approximately 40 percent) of our trash.

Making recycled paper instead of new paper uses 64 percent less energy and uses 58 percent less water.

Every day American businesses generate enough paper to circle the earth 20 times !

Every day Americans recover more than 2 million pounds of paper! That's about 40 percent of the paper we use.

Paper products use up at least 35 percent of the world's annual commercial wood harvest.

The highest point in Ohio is said to be "Mount Rumpke," which is a "mountain" made up of trash -- at a sanitary landfill! Rumpke is one of the nation's largest waste and recycling companies.

One tree can filter up to 60 pounds of pollutants from the air each year.

Each year, Americans throw away 25 billion Styrofoam cups.

In Britain, over 9 million "nappies" or disposable diapers, are used every day.

More than 1/3 of all fiber used to make paper comes from recycled paper.

Every Sunday, Americans waste 90 percent of recyclable newspapers. This wastes 500,000 trees!

A new landfill generally costs more than an old one that has filled up. This is because it typically costs more to comply with new environmental regulations, to buy the land, to construct the landfill and to transport waste because new landfills generally are farther away than older ones.

Every year more than 900 million trees are cut down to provide raw materials for American paper and pulp mills.

Only 1 percent of the world's water supply is usable; 97 percent is in the ocean and 2 percent is frozen.

Americans make more than 200 million tons of garbage each year, enough to fill Bush Stadium from top to bottom twice a day!

It takes a 15-year-old tree to produce 700 grocery bags.

Where does the trash go? When you throw something "away", it doesn't go away! Trash is either burned, buried, recycled or dumped into rivers and oceans.

Beginning about 1690, paper was made in the U.S. from old rags. Paper production from wood did not begin until the late 1800s. Early paper was made in Egypt out of papyrus.

Paper recycling began in the U.S. in the 1930s

Wastepaper recycling is big business. In October of 1997, wastepaper shipments from the U.S. to other countries totaled almost $76 million.

Disposable diapers last centuries in landfills. An average baby will go through 8,000 of them!

Recycling a stack of newspapers just 3 feet high can save one tree.

How Recycled Paper Is Made...

Waste paper is collected, sorted, baled and transported to a paper recycling plant. You can help by sorting paper and keeping it dry and out of the sun (water and sunlight make it harder to remove ink).

At the paper factory, used paper is mixed with water in a huge blender called a "hydrapulper," which mixes the paper with water, pulling inks away from the paper fibers and separating the fibers themselves. De-inking chemicals are sometimes also added.

The pulp mixture passes through several different-sized screens, which separate the paper fibers from paper clips, staples and other contaminants.

In most cases, the clean pulp is then mixed with some new wood pulp to make the recycled paper stronger. Recycled paper fibers get shorter the more often they are recycled. Most fibers can be recycled

The clean pulp is pressed into sheets, dried, finished and placed onto rolls.

Recycling Around the World

People are making efforts all over the world to recycle and take better care of our planet.

A recycling bin sits outside a McDonald's at a train station in Rome, Italy. Visitors are asked to sort paper, waste and glass or aluminum cans.

In Bristol, England, for example, they have a "Waste Not" Festival, where you could guess how many aluminum cans had been crushed into a brick, hear "Cycler the Robot" sing the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Rap and create art from items in a "Scrapstore."

A neighborhood recycling group there passed out leaflets and stickers with a catchy earth-friendly slogan: "Before You Bin It, Think What's In It!" Try to come up with your own catchy phrases to help you remember to recycle.

Another group has installed picnic tables and seats made from recycled plastics at a neighborhood park. They are also building a mosaic walkway out of broken crockery and reclaimed tiles.

If you stop in at Ben & Jerry's for an ice cream cone, you'll find a brochure called "Ben & Jerry's Thoughts On Dioxin." It talks about how the ice cream containers at Ben & Jerry's are made with unbleached paper. The paper bleaching process can produce dioxin, a dangerous toxic chemical. Ben & Jerry's has developed its new carton from unbleached brown (kraft) paperboard, which can be made from recycled paper fibers.

Battery-maker Duracell built its new international headquarters using materials from its own waste. More than half of the building materials contained waste material from the company's own manufacturing process. This included flooring made from crushed glass and broken light bulbs, ceiling tiles made from recycled newspapers and roofing from recycled aluminum.

Look on the bottom of your cereal box to see if it's made from recycled paper. Kellogg's Froot Loops, for instance, come in a box made from 100 percent recycled paperboard. You can also get cereal, often for less money, in bags that have no box. Quaker Oats, for example, sells its bagged cereals for 35-40 percent below the price of boxed cereals.

And at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, there are brightly colored recycling bins throughout the park (photo at right). Imagine what a difference that is making among the waste typically generated by their millions of guests.

Asked about recycling efforts at the Disney parks, Joan Manangu, Executive Offices at Walt Disney World Resort, writes:

"Regrettably, we are unable to provide you with a date as to when our Recycling Program began. However, our Company created a department called Environmental Initiatives. This department was created in 1994 to identify environmental initiatives around the Walt Disney World Resort.

"The first recyclable bins were placed in the Magic Kingdom Park in 1996. The approximate figures for the monthly total of items recycled in the month of March 1999 at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park are listed below.

28.9% of Class Waste (trash, paper, & food waste) was recycled.
42.8% of Class III (manure, yard waste, & construction waste) was recycled."

If you pay attention, you'll begin to notice recycling efforts all around you!


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