Recycling by the Numbers
Radford University finished its 2011-12 fiscal year with a recycling rate of more than 27 percent. RU recycled more than 538 tons of cans, glass, plastic, mixed paper, cardboard, composting, scrap metal, electronic waste and lights, toner cartridges, fixer, motor oil, antifreeze, kitchen grease, batteries, tires, pallets, construction debris and yard waste.
For a sense of the global waste production and value of recycling, RU Recycling offers the following facts, courtesy of Recycling-Revolution.com.
- The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood and other products, totallying about 2 billion trees annually. The paper from half of those trees is thrown away, not recycled.
- The average household throws away 13,000 pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.
- Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (10 percent) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65 percent of household trash.
- Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. Most of them are thrown away.
- On average, it costs $30 a ton to recycle trash, $50 to send it to the landfill and $65 to $75 to incinerate it.
- An estimated 80 million Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover almost 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.