Recycling is a big business in the USA. In fact, electronic recycling, commonly referred as e-waste, is one of the fastest growing segments in the solid stream recycling stream. Numerous materials can be recycled from the electronic waster found in cell phones, computers, printers and other electronic devices. Here are some general recycling statistics on the economy, paper recycling, and electronic recycling that will give you some food for thought.
For the economy
- Recycling is a $200 billion industry in the U.S.
- Recycling generates 7-10 more jobs that landfills and waste to energy plants.
- Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 12 foot high wall from Seattle to NY (a new wall every year).
- Making paper from recycled paper reduces the related contribution to air pollution 95%.
- Recycling a stack of newspaper just 3 feet high saves one tree
- Recycling cardboard only takes 75% of the energy needed to make new cardboard.
- Recycling 1 ton of cardboard saves 46 gallons of oil.
- Over 90% of all products shipped in the US are shipped in corrugated boxes, which totals more than 400 billion square feet of cardboard.
- Nearly 80% of all retailers and grocers recycle their cardboard.
- Cell phones contain a very high amount of precious metals such as silver and gold. Americans throw away approximately $60 million worth of silver and gold per year.
- Compared to disposal in landfills or by incinerators, reusing or recycling computers can create 296 more jobs per year for every 10,000 tons of computer waste processed.
- Recycling one million laptop computers can save enough energy to run 3,657 U.S. homes for a year.