Earth Day 2015 Recycling Facts


– Recycling just 48 cans is the energy equivalent of conserving one gallon of gas

– Since 1990, the paper recovered through U.S. recycling efforts would fill 200 football stadiums to a height of 100 feet

– The most recycled consumer product in America is the automobile, with 26 cars being recycled every minute

– Every ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees and 462 gallons of oil

One pound of newspaper can be recycled into 6 cereal boxes or egg cartons

– In the U.S., we toss more than 100 million cell phones in the trash every year 

– EPA reports that over 112,000 computers are discarded every single day, in the U.S. alone. That’s 41.1 million desktops and laptop computers per year!   

Only 30% of electronic waste is disposed of and recycled properly

– Recycling just one aluminum beverage can saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours or a TV for 2 hours 

– Recycling 125 aluminum cans saves enough energy to power one home for a day

– Recycling one ton of cardboard:

– Saves 390 kWh of energy

– Saves 1.1 barrels (46 gallons) of oil

– Saves 6.6 million BTUs of energy.

– If everyone in the U.S. was able to reduce their 10.8 pieces of junk mail received each week, we could save nearly 100 million trees each year.

– If every household in the U.S. replaced one roll of non-recycled paper towels with a roll of 100% recycled paper towels, we would save 864,000 trees and 3.4 million cubic feet of landfill space.

– If 10,000 people switched from zero to 100% post-consumer recycled office paper for a year, the collective annual impact is equivalent to taking 230 cars off the road for a year

– A typical disposable lunch, with items like single-serve yogurt, Ziploc bags and juice boxes, creates 4 to 8 oz. of garbage every day. In a year, this could generate up to 67 pounds of waste!

– Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans throw away one million extra tons of garbage every week

– The average U.S. citizen uses 200 pounds of plastic per year and only 3% is recycled. Glass makes up 6% of all the items in a landfill and it takes over 1 million years to decompose

 An average of 220 tons of computers and other e-waste is dumped annually

For more information on the Air Force’s Earth Day efforts, visit