Paper

  • By recycling one tonne of paper you save 13 trees, 2.5 barrels of oil, 4100kWh of electricity, 4 cubic metres of landfill and 31,870 litres of water. (City of Melbourne – Waste Collection – Recycling Facts and Figures)
  • Producing paper from recovered fibre consumes 50 per cent less energy than manufacturing paper from virgin pulp, and the process also consumes 90 per cent less water. http://www.sd.fm.uwa.edu.au/programs/recycling/paper/facts
  • In Australia, newspaper recycling has increased from 52.7% in 1995 to 74.5% today and we’re now recycling almost 2 billion newspapers a year.
  • The average office worker throws away on average, an amazing 10,000 sheets of A4 paper each year.

Plastics

  • Approximately 88% of the energy is saved by producing plastic from plastic as opposed to plastic from the raw materials of oil and gas. (Reference – Mississippi Dept. of Environmental Quality Report 2007)
  • Plastics such as HDPE (e.g. milk bottles) and PP (e.g. ice cream containers) are recycled into garden edging, sign posts, compost bins, speed humps, plant pots as well as many other products.
  • Plastic containers are recycled into plastic lumber for picnic tables and park benches, carpet fibre, clothing, automotive parts, paint brushes, and more plastic bottles.
  • It takes 125 recycled plastic milk bottles to manufacture a 140 litre wheelie bin from recycled plastic.

Glass

  • The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle is enough to light a 100 watt bulb for 4 hours.
  • Recycling 1 tonne of glass saves 1.1 tonnes of raw materials (sand, limestone, soda ash), and energy use is cut by 30%. Crushed glass (or cullet) melts at a lower temperature than the raw materials which saves energy.
  • Glass is 100% recyclable. Over 30% of the raw material used in glass production now comes from recycled glass.
  • Glass can be recycled again and again indefinitely: hundreds of times, thousands of times, even millions of times!
  • Refillable glass bottles use 19,000 BTUs of energy as compared to 38,000 BTUs used by throwaway bottles.

Aluminium

  • Recycling just one aluminium can saves enough electricity to power a TV set for three hours http://cans.planetark.org/
  • Making an aluminium can from recycled aluminium uses 95% less energy than making it from virgin materials http://cans.planetark.org/
  • 95% less energy is needed to make aluminium from used cans rather than from the raw material bauxite.
  • Each aluminium can recycled saves enough electricity to light a 100 watt bulb for 3.5 hours.
  • Aluminium cans and aluminium scrap are recycled into new aluminium products including aeroplanes, cars, and more cans.

Steel

  • By adding used steel to new steel we can save up to 75% of the energy needed if the steel was made from raw materials. Air pollution is reduced by almost 86% and water usage reduces by 76%.
  • Steel recycling results in 74% savings in energy, 90% savings in virgin materials, 86% reduction in air pollution, 40% reduction in water use, 76% reduction in water pollution and 97% reduction in mining wastes.
  • Steel cans and steel scrap are recycled into new steel products including structural steel, bolts and nuts, coat hangers, and more steel cans.

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