16 good reasons for recycling
- Recycling one tonne of paper saves 17 trees, 3 m3 of landfill space, over 300 litres oil, 26,498 litres of water and 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity - enough energy to power the average home for 5 months.
- In the manufacturing process of recycled paper, 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution is generated, 58% less water and 64% less energy is required.
- Producing new plastic from recycled material uses only two-thirds of the energy required to manufacture it from raw materials.
- Recycling 1 tonne of plastic can save up to 7,570 litres of fuel.
- The average plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Worldwide, we waste 4 billion plastic bags annually.
- For each kilogramme of waste that is composted instead of sent to landfill 2.5 kg of CO₂ emissions are saved.
- Organic waste can also be used to make Biogas: Depending on the type of organic waste, between 20 and 800 m3 of biogas per tonne of waste can be produced. Each cubic metre of biogas contains the equivalent of 6 kWh of energy - enough energy to power a 100 W light bulb for 60 hours or a 2000 W hair dryer for 3 hours.
- Biogas is typically composed of 60% Methane and 40% CO2. It is similar to natural gas, which is composed of 99% Methane. The power of Methane as a greenhouse gas is more than 0 times higher than CO2. Combustion of biogas converts Methane into CO2 and thus reduces the impact of global warming by more than 20 times.
- Glass never wears out - it can be recycled endlessly . Recycling a single bottle saves as much energy as a PC consumes in 25 minutes, a TV consumes in 20 mins and a washing machine in 10 mins. One tonne of recycled glass saves around 300 kg of CO2 emissions.
- Recycling a single aluminium 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 aluminium cans saves enough energy to power the average home for a day.
- Recycling steel cans saves up to 74% of the energy used to produce them from new raw materials.
- Every tonne of steel recycled saves 1,134 kg of iron ore, 635 kg of coal and 54 kg of limestone.
- 20 cans can be made out of recycled material with the same amount of energy it takes to make just one new one.
- Landfill waste causes 2% of all man-made greenhouse gases. Waste dumps create Methane, a gas that is more than 20 times more dangerous than CO2.
- Waste bins made from HDPE which do not contain any recycled material, cause around 16 kg of CO2 emissions.
Life cycle assessment of a 240L HDPE bin produced by Environmental Solutions Europe (ESE) Group, July 2011
DTU Environment, Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark