top of page

Recycling: It Saves HOW Much?

Recycling has become a well-accepted part of social responsibility. Between the “green movement” and the increased awareness of global warming, recycling and environmentally friendly programs have sprung up rapidly over the last ten years. But what are the ramifications of our efforts? Or rather, how do we obtain an understanding of the difference these recycling programs have made? Understanding the consequence of our actions is critical if we are to have any sort of stamina or continued motivation in participating in recycling programs. The below information seeks to address this issue and answer the question of how much good are we actually doing? The following fast, fun facts provide striking examples of why recycling is more than merely a media-made fad.


  • When a can is recycled, it can reappear on shelves in just 60 days!

  • Recycling one can saves enough energy to run a TV or computer for 3 hours!

  • One can also saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours!

  • It takes the same amount of energy to make 20 cans out of recycled material as it does to make 1 new one!

  • Recycling one ton of aluminum saves 37 barrels of oil!

  • Recycling the 80,000,000 Hershey Kiss wrappers that are made every day would save about 50 acres-or 40 football fields-worth of aluminum!


  • The energy saved from 1 lb of steel could power a 60-watt bulb for over 24 hours!

  • This same pound of recycled steel saves the equivalent of 3.6 barrels of oil!

  • Recycling 1lb of steel also saves 2,500 lbs of iron ore, 1,400 lbs of coal and 120 lbs of limestone!

  • Annual U.S. steel recycling saves enough energy to heat and light 18,000,000 homes! LA could be powered on this amount of energy for almost 10 years!

  • With the amount of steel recycled from appliances, we could build 160 stadiums about the same size as the Pittsburgh Steelers Stadium!


  • 250,000,000 trees would be saved every year if all newspapers were recycled!

  • The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years!

  • Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, and 7,000 gallons of water!

  • Recycling 1 ton of paper also saves 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity! This is enough to power the average U.S. home for 5 months!


  • The energy saved from recycling 1 glass bottle could light a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours!

  • Recycling 1 glass bottle causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than if the bottle were made from raw materials!

  • For every ton of glass recycled, 9 gallons of oil are saved!


  • Recycling 1 ton of plastic save approximately 2 thousand gallons of gas!

  • Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator!

  • Producing new plastic from recycled material uses ⅓ less energy compared to making it from raw materials!

Clearly, the positive effects of recycling are even more significant than many would imagine. If you found this information to be interesting or even inspirational, be sure to recycle the knowledge to those you know!

The information in this post has been compiled thanks to the following sources. Please reference the original sites for even more information regarding the effects of recycling!

Recycling Plastic & Glass


bottom of page