Metal recycling, and more specifically, metal recycling in Chicago are important, because we need to keep waste out of our landfills. We can also use the revenues from recycling to strengthen our workforce and improve our city. Here are some facts you may not know about metal recycling.
What You Might Not Know About Metal Recycling In Chicago
In an average year Americans throw away 161 million tons of garbage, which is about three pounds of garbage per person per day. Now think about how much of that gets tossed into landfills and how much room 16 million tons takes up. It’s a bit overwhelming! But recycling can help; American’s recycle about 34% of their waste and a large percentage of that is recycled metal cans.
Here are some facts about metal recycling that you may not know:
- Of the 3.4 million tons of aluminum that were generated by Americans, only .69 million tons were recovered.
- 100,000 aluminum cans are recycled every minute. That’s about 53 billion cans recycled in a year. However in 2010 alone, over $1.1 billion in aluminum cans were tossed into landfills.
The recycling rate for metal beverage cans, such as soda and beer cans, is double that of any other beverage container.
- Most metal cans have 68% recycled content.
Most metal cans are recycled and back on the shelf as new cans in as few as 60 days.
- If all of the metal cans recycled in 2010 were stacked on top of each other, the structure would be 1,454 times taller than the Empire State Building.
- If you lined up all the aluminum cans recycled in one year, the cans would circle the earth 169 times!
Don’t Just Stop With Metal Recycling, Recycle Plastics And Paper, too!
But recycling isn’t just for metal cans; there are many items that can be successfully recycled, like most paper and plastics. Recycling also frees up land that would otherwise be designated for a landfill, it saves us time and money by reusing resources instead of cultivating virgin resources and it creates great jobs for Americans. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re still not convinced that recycling can change the way we handle solid waste material; here are some interesting facts that might change your mind about recycling.
- There are about 9,000 curbside recycling programs in the US.
- On average, Americans recycle 82 million tons of materials. This reduces so many CO2 emissions; it’s the equivalent to taking 33 million commuter cars off the road.
- If we recycled all of the recyclable materials in the U.S., we would generate over 7 billion dollars. That is well over the net worth of 10 movie stars!!
- The recycling industry employed over 1.1 million workers. It generates over $236 billion in annual revenue. This is a growing industry that creates jobs and futures for fellow Americans.
Recycling is of utmost importance to our future! It also has the potential to create steady jobs and generate revenue for Chicago businesses.