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Solid Waste Fast Facts

Lexington County residents generate enough trash to fill one football field – 100 yards long, 56 yards wide and 10 feet high – about every two and a half days.

 

The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world's people generate 40% of the world's waste.

 

About one-third of an average landfill is made up of packaging material!

 

Every year, each American throws out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted.

 

Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.

 

On average, it costs $30 per ton to recycle trash, $50 to send it to the landfill, and $65 to $75 to incinerate it.

 

A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.

 

Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re-refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.

 

A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. That's a lot of containers -- make sure they're recycled!

 

Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap Texas.

 

Recycling Fast Facts

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours -- or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.

 

A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. 

 

The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. It also create 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.

 

 

A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose -- and even longer if it's in the landfill.

 

Glass can be recycled again and again with no loss in quality or purity. Glass containers go from recycling bin to store shelf in as little as 30 days—again and again.

 

Recycling one pound of steel saves enough energy to run a 60-watt light bulb can be run for over a day.

 

More than 600 steel cans are recycled every second. Those cans and other steel products (including cars, appliances, and construction materials) are re-melted to make new steel products.

 

The United States throws away enough office and writing paper annually to build a 12 foot wall across the country.

 

The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.

Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year.

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