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10 Interesting facts about Recycling


Recycling is the process of making or manufacturing new products from a product that has originally served its purpose. If these used products are disposed of in an appropriate, environmentally friendly way, the process of recycling has been set in motion. Recycling turns used materials into valuable resources. Collecting used bottles, cans, and newspapers and taking them to the curb or to a collection facility is just the first in a series of steps that generates a host of financial, environmental, and social returns.

Nowadays waste has become one of the biggest concerns and most discussed issues in the world. Population of the world has increased which means the waste has increased as well.

1.) Burying a coffin

Every year we bury 150,272 tons of steel, 2700 tons of metals and more than 9 million meters of laminated hardwood covered in toxins. There is one company in the world which offers coffins made from 100% recycled paper. The name of the company is- “Ecopod”.


2.) World number one waste producer

United Stated of America is the biggest waste producer in the world. Average American produces almost 2kg of waste a day, 13kg a week and 726kg a year. In 2007 the USA produced 254 million tons of garbage. The US makes only 5% of world´s population but consumes 30% of the world´s resources and creates 30% of world´s waste. The main components of the waste are food (26,8 million tons), furniture (8,5 million tons), clothes and shoes (6.3 million tons).


3.) Recycling in the past


In the production of parchments was customary to cut off the outer edge of the animal hide, this strip was not fit to write on but was used to create glue instead. Recycling in the past does not focus on paper only but on re usage of old parts of Roman buildings in construction of new buildings.


4.) Most recycled item

The most used and recycled item in the past was bone. Bones were and still are used to create tools, buttons, gelatin, food processing, photography, glue and paper making.


5.) E-waste

There are people who every year buy new phone, every second year new laptop but what happens when we throw it away?

“Electronic waste” may be defined as discarded computers, office electronic equipment, entertainment device electronics, mobile phones, TVs and fridges. An estimated 50 million tons of E-waste are produced each year. The USA discards 30 million computers each year and 100 million phones are disposed of in Europe each year. The estimate is that only 30% is recycled or reused.


6.) Where e-waste ends?

E-waste is routinely exported by developed countries to developing ones, often in violation of the international law. Inspections of 18 European seaports in 2005 found as much as 47 percent of waste destined for export, including e-waste, was illegal. Majority of e-waste is shipped to Asia and mainly to China. The e-waste problem grows in India as well – Twenty-five thousand workers are employed at scrap yards in Delhi alone, where 10,00 – 20,000 tons of e-waste is handled each year.


7.) Decomposition of waste

Glass bottle 1 million years
Monofilament fishing line: 600 years
Plastic beverage bottles: 450 years
Disposable diapers: 450 years
Aluminum can: 80-200 years
Boot sole: 50-80 years
Styrofoam cup: 50 years
Tin can: 50 years
Leather: 50 years
Nylon fabric: 30-40 years
Plastic film canister: 20-30 years
Plastic bag: 10-20 years (???) Cigarette filter: 1-5 years
Wool sock: 1-5 years
Plywood: 1-3 years
Waxed milk carton: 3 months
Apple core: 2 months
Newspaper: 6 weeks
Orange or banana peel : 2-5 weeks
Paper towel: 2-4 weeks


8.) Aluminum cans and recycling

A can is generally turned into a new can and back on store shelves within 60 days. Recycling just one aluminium can saves enough electricity to power a TV set for 3 hours and making cans from recycled aluminium uses 95% less energy than making them from scratch.


9.) Landfills and waste

A landfill site is a site for the disposal of waster materials by burial and is the oldest form of waste treatment. Historically, landfills have been the most common methods of organized waste disposal and remain so in many places around the world.Decades ago, there were still plenty of landfills in the world with room to spare. However, with increasing material consumption in homes, schools and offices the available space for waste disposal continues to diminish.


10.) Recycling in most bizarre form

Used condoms are recycled in Southern China and are used to create hair bands .Latest report shows that in Dongguan and Guangzhou cities in Guangdong southern province, Chinese-made recycled products such as headbands and rubber bands made of used condoms were seen being openly sold in local markets and beauty shops.