Taking Out the Trash: Surprising Recycling Statistics from Around the World

The world has seen a stark increase in the amount of trash produced since the 1960s. The amount of trash in America alone has gone up nearly 200 million tons since the ‘60s. This means that Americans produce around 250 million tons of trash each year, which they accomplished in 2010. Of all of this trash, only 34.1 percent of it was recycled, leaving 65.9 percent of America’s trash laying in landfills. Each American produces about 4.43 pounds of trash in one day, the second highest in the industrialized world.

Almost everything can be recycled. Paper, cardboard, metal, food scraps, yard waste, plastics, and even glass can be recycled. Paper and cardboard make up the highest percentage of recycled products in America, coming in at 34.2 percent. Metal actually only makes up 7.6 percent of the material recycled in America, even though a metric ton of recycled electronics can produce more of the metal gold than 17 tons of actual gold ore. The percentage of recycled waste in America has actually climbed over the past fifty years, which is a good thing. The amount of trash, however, has increased exponentially. So it is important that measures to increase recycling continue in America and the world over.

Infographic brought to you by ROUND2 INC., an Avnet Company leading the industry in recycling computer parts.

Trash and recycling