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 www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/info.cfm?top=63&pg=771)
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. http://recyclingnearyou.com.au/documents/05nrw_gbugly_report-1.pdf
It takes 125 recycled plastic milk bottles to manufacture a 140 litre wheelie bin from recycled plastic. (www.envirobank.com.au/recycling-facts)
You will often see the below symbols stamped into the bottom of a plastic product such as a bottle, tub or pipe but what do these symbols mean?
Most plastics can be recycled but they are separated into their different polymer types. Because of the difficulty and expense of sorting, collecting, cleaning and reprocessing, at the moment it is only economically viable to recycle a few plastic types in particular, PET, HDPE and LDPE.
||PET or PETE - Polyethylene terephthalate - Used for plastic drink bottles and the easiest to recycle.
|High Density Polyethylene - used for grocery bags, recycling bins and playground equipment and also readily recyclable.|
|Polyvinyl Chloride - Used to make pipe, fencing and non food bottles. It is very difficult to recycle and can be dangerous to the environment and your health.|
|Low Density Polyethylene - Mainly seen in plastic bags, various containers and wash bottles. Is recycled back into these same products..|
|Polypropylene - Can be found in clothing, auto parts and industrial fibers. Is recycled back into fibers.|
|Polystyrene - Is a cheap option for making toys, cafeteria trays, video cassettes and cases and foam cups. It's lightweight but not worth recycling.|
|Other plastics including acrylic, polycarbonate, polylactic acid, nylon and fiberglass. The least wanted of the plastics by recyclers.|
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. (www.envirobank.com.au/recycling-facts)
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.planet.ark.org/
95% less energy is needed to make aluminium from used cans rather than from the raw material bauxite.
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%. www.cansmart.org/Facts/fast_facts.html
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 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. (www.envirobank.com.au/recycling-facts)