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Every minute of every day over 120,000 aluminum cans are recycled in the U.S.  (11)

Recycling aluminum results in 95% less air pollution and 97% less water pollution than producing aluminum from natural resources.  (9)

Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy that would be required to mine bauxite ore and extract alumina; the raw materials needed to manufacture aluminum.  (49)

For each pound of aluminum recycled, you eliminate the need to mine four pounds of bauxite ore.  (48)

Recycling 1 ton of aluminum saves the equivalent in energy of 2,350 gallons of gasoline. This is equivalent to the amount of electricity used by the typical home over a period of 10 years.  (28)

One recycled aluminum can saves enough electricity to operate a TV for 3 hours.  (55)

Using recycled aluminum beverage cans to produce new cans allows the aluminum can industry to make up to 20 times more cans for the same amount of energy.  (11)

Americans discard enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet every 3 months.  (2)

The aluminum beverage can returns to the grocer's shelf as a new, filled can in as little as 90 days after collection, re-melting, rolling, manufacturing and distribution. Consumers could purchase the same recycled aluminum can from a grocer's shelf every 13 weeks or 4 times a year.  (11)

It's estimated that since 1972 some 13 million tons of aluminum cans have been recycled in the U.S. These 534.7 billion aluminum cans placed end-to end could stretch to the moon some 170 times.  (11)

The average American family recycles 150 six packs of aluminum cans a year.  (1)

Used aluminum cans are melted down into ingots that can weigh as much as 30,000 tons. That's enough aluminum to make 1.6 million cans.  (38)

When introduced in the early 1960's, 1,000 aluminum beverage cans weighed about 55 lbs. Today, through improved design, 1,000 aluminum beverage cans weigh less than 35 lbs. This is a significant reduction in raw material use and in waste to be recycled.  (38)

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), aluminum cans represent less than 1% of the nation's solid waste stream.  (11)

Recycling has created an estimated 30,000 jobs since 1970. In 1985, an estimated 2 million aluminum can collectors earned over 200 million dollars for their recycling efforts.  (3)

To make a ton of aluminum from raw materials, we have to treat and dispose of 3,290 lbs. of red mud, 2,900 lbs. of carbon dioxide, 81 lbs. of air pollutants and 789 lbs. of solid wastes.  (5)

In Sacramento County, 150,000 cubic yards of grass clippings (or the equivalent of a 7 story building the size of a football field) are generated every year.  (50)

Americans throw away about 10% of the food they buy at the supermarket. This results in dumping the equivalent of more than 21 million shopping bags full of food into landfills every year.  (21)

One pound of red worms can consume half a pound of food waste every day.  (26)

Recycling an average-size family's yard waste can make about 300-400 pounds of finished compost, or humus, a year.  (21)

Thirty-five million tons of yard trimmings (including grass, leaves, and tree and brush trimmings) are generated in the U.S. annually. Each year, 12% of the yard trimmings produced are composted.  (62)

Fallen leaves contain 50-80% of the nutrients that a tree extracts from the Earth. By composting them, we're helping the earth replenish itself.  (21)

Grass makes up 70% of all yard waste. If grass clippings are short enough, they quickly decompose and supply the soil with nitrogen and carbon.  (21)

When yard waste is buried in landfills, where there is not much oxygen, it releases methane gas, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to air pollution and global warming. Methane and other toxins can also condense into liquid and leach into groundwater.  (21)

In the U.S., approximately 13.2 million tons of glass waste is generated annually and about 22% of all glass beverage containers are recycled.  (62)

About 5 billion glass bottles and jars of all kinds are recycled each year in the United States; a nearly 500% increase in the last ten years. That represents about 2.5 billion pounds of glass that won't end up in a landfill.  (38)

We save over a ton of resources for every ton of glass recycled­1,330 lbs. of sand, 433 lbs. Of soda ash, 433 lbs. Of limestone and 151 lbs. Of feldspar.  (21)

A ton of glass produced from raw materials creates 384 pounds of mining waste, using 50% recycled glass, cuts it by about 75%.  (21)

Using recycled glass to make new glass cuts related air pollution by up to 20%.  (10)

Recycling 1 ton of glass saves the equivalent in energy of 10 gallons of oil.  (28)

Recycling a glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours.  (51)

Most bottles and jars contain at least 25% recycled glass. Glass never wears out-it can be recycled forever.  (21)

About 75% of the United State's glass are used for packaging.  (21)

If all the glass bottles and jars collected through recycling in the U.S. in 1994 were laid end to end, they'd reach the moon and half way back to earth.  (24)

Glass containers recycled in the U.S. in 1994 would fill 103,333 tractor-trailers. Bumper to bumper, they'd stretch from Dallas to Los Angeles.  (24)

Glass makes up about 8% of America's municipal waste.  (21)

More than 4,000 California restaurants and bars recycle their glass.  (6, 10)

From 1991 to 1995, the number of landfills has declined by 49%. That is 2,833 less landfills in the U.S. (15)

We dump most of the magazines printed in the U.S. each year (about 8 million tons) into landfills. If we recycled just half of them, we could save over 12 million cubic yards of landfill space. (21)

More than two-thirds of the material going into landfills is degradable. However, very little change occurs because moisture is the most important environmental variable of degradation. Landfills are kept as dry as possible to help prevent groundwater contamination from runoff. For example, newspapers are still readable more than 20 years after being thrown away. Food, such as T-bone steaks and hot dogs, remain relatively unchanged for more than a decade.  (17)

In 1993, 207 million tons of garbage was generated in the U.S. that's 4.4 pounds per person per day. After recycling and composting, 3.4 pounds of garbage per person per day was combusted or sent to landfills.  (61)

The Environmental Protection Agency projects that per capita generation of solid waste will decrease by the year 2000 from 4.4 pounds per person per day to 4.3 pounds.  (61)

Between 1990 and 1993, materials recovered for recycling and composting in the U.S., increased from 38 million tons to 45 million tons, an increase of 18%.  (61)

In 1985, 83% of our garbage was landfilled, in 1993, this figure dropped to 62%. Even with this reduction, landfilling continues to be the single most predominant waste management method reaching in to the year 2000.  (61)


In 1994, 214 million gallons of oil were sold in California and of that, 122 million gallons of used oil were generated. Only 75 million gallons of that used oil were recycled properly which leaves 47 million gallons unaccounted for.  (6)

A quart of motor oil can pollute 250,000 gallons of water and 1 acre of land 1 inch deep.  (21, 51)

Americans throw away enough used motor oil every year to fill 120 supertankers.  (21)

About 62 % of all oil-related pollution in the U.S. is caused by improper disposal of used motor oil and is the single largest source of oil pollution (over 40%) in our nation's waterways.  (21, 57)

It is easier and cheaper to recycle used oil than to make new oil from crude. One gallon of used oil can produce the same amount of motor oil as 42 gallons of crude oil while requiring about a third of the energy.  (13)

If all used motor oil in the U.S. were recycled, it would result in a saving of 1.3 million barrels of oil per day.  (14)

Used oil can be re-refined into good-as-new lubricating oil. Oil never wears out it just gets dirty.  (57)

Used oil can be reprocessed into fuel oil, which contains about 140,000 BTU's of energy and can be burned efficiently.  (57)

The U.S. currently imports about 60% of our oil and within 20 years we will be importing 100% at a cost of $150 billion annually.  (45)

The world will need twice the raw materials in 2010 that it does today. Maintaining the same level of oil usage will require discovering as much in the next 10 years as has been found in all history.  (52)

Each year, the United States uses 85.5 million tons of paper, of which we recycle 22%, or 19 million tons. Of the remaining paper, we could recycle up to 70% or 46 million tons. And those 46 million tons could save 782 million trees.  (39, 63)

An average family of 3 produces about 5 lbs. /week, 20lbs. /mo., or 250 lbs./yr. of used newspaper.  (39, 63)

Every day, Americans buy about 62 million newspapers and throw out around 44 million of them. If we recycled just half our newsprint every year, we would need 3,200 fewer garbage trucks to collect our trash.  (21)

If you're an average American, it's going to take 465 trees to provide you with a lifetime of paper.  (60)

Americans throw away the equivalent of more than 30 million trees in newsprint each year.  (21)

Americans discard 4 million tons of office paper every year. That's enough to build a 12 foot-high wall of paper from New York to California.  (21)

In 1988, Americans used enough Kraft paper for a person to take a brown bag lunch to school or work for 64 million years.  (21)

If Americans recycled every phone book each year, an estimated 650,000 tons of paper could be saved.  (21)

Recycling half the world's paper would free 20 million acres of forestland.  (21)

Recycling one stack of newspapers about 6 feet tall saves the life of one tree 35 feel tall. Recycling approximately 1 ton of newspapers saves 17 trees.  (51)

If you stacked up all the paper an average American use in a year, the pile would be as tall as a two-story house.  (20)

Americans use about 30 billion cardboard boxes a year. That's enough to make a pile as big as a football field and as high as the World Trade Center in New York. If every person in America recycled just 1 box a month, more than a billion boxes a year could be kept out of landfills.  (41)

The EPA has found that making paper from recycled materials results in 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution. This means that every ton of recycled paper keeps almost 60 pounds of pollutants out of the atmosphere that would have been produced if the paper had been manufactured from virgin resources.  (43)

If everyone who subscribes to the New York Times recycled his or her old newspapers, we would keep over 6,000 tons of pollution out of the air every year.  (21)

Every ton of recycled paper saves approximately 4 barrels of oil, 4200-kilowatt hours of energy and enough energy to hear and air-condition the average North American home for at least 6 months.  (55)

In Germany, the most advanced pulp mills produce a piece of paper using only seven times its weight in water. Around the world, older factories use up to 100 times this amount.  (36)

Nearly 30% of all paper is now reused to make insulation, building materials, or other paper products. In all, about 13 million tons are recovered each year-including 4 million tons that are exported to foreign markets.  (39)

Office paper has already been bleached, and compared to newsprint there is not much ink. As a result, recycled paper manufacturers only have to use 25% as much bleach as the original manufacturers used. This cuts down on dioxins in our water.  (21)

Paper products consume 35% of the world's annual commercial wood harvest and this figure is expected to increase to 50% by the year 2000.  (19)

Recycled paper saves water. Recycled paper production uses 58% less water compared to virgin paper production.  (19)

One ton of paper made completely from recycled scrap saves 7,000 gallons of water, 4100-kilowatt hours of energy, three cubic yards of landfill space and 17 trees.  (10)

Recycled paper is made to the same standards as paper made from virgin pulp. Moreover, recycled paper has features that make it more desirable than virgin paper, such as being more opaque, dense, and flexible.  (19)

Paper plus cardboard combined make up 73% of the materials in the landfill.  (61)

Californians recycle more paper than any other material in our waste stream--some 2,647,000 tons annually.  (10)

For every 15,000 tons of old newspaper recycled annually, 30 jobs are created to collect the paper, 40 jobs are created to process the paper, and 75 jobs are required to manufacture the newsprint.  (31)

It is estimated that recycling paper from California's "urban forest" has helped to sustain some 9,000 jobs while adding more than $2.2 billion of value to the State economy.  (10)

Making a ton of virgin paper requires 3,688 lbs. Of wood, 24,000 gallons of water, 216 lbs. Of lime, 360 lbs. Of salt cake and 76 lbs. Of soda ash. We then have to treat and dispose of 84 lbs. Of air pollutants, 36 lbs. Of water pollutants and 176 lbs. Of solid waste.  (5)

Plastics are made from petroleum a limited, nonrenewable resource. It is predicted that by the year 2040, the Earth's usable petroleum reserves will have been depleted.  (56)

In 1987, the U.S. used almost 1 billion barrels of oil, just to make plastics.  (51)

When buried, some plastic materials may last for 700 years. (Manufacturers add inhibitors that resist the decomposition process necessary to break down the plastic.)  (51)

If the Pilgrims had six-packs, we'd still have the plastic rings from them today.  (21)

Over 46,000 pieces of plastic debris float on every square mile of ocean.  (51)

Although polystyrene foam is completely non-biodegradable, it is recyclable.  (21)

If you lined up all the polystyrene foam cups made in just one day, they would circle the earth.  (20)

Plastics are the fastest growing share of the U.S. waste stream accounting for 5% of household throwaways. Every American uses almost 200 pounds of plastic in a year--60 pounds of it for packaging.  (51)

According to Dr. Jack Milgram, a plastics analyst, "Recycling plastics saves twice as much energy as burning them..."  (51)

Americans use 4 million plastic bottles every hour! -- Yet only 1 bottle out of 4 is recycled  .(41)

Americans make enough low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic every year to shrink-wrap the state of Texas. Most of it ends up in landfills.  (41)

Plastics are part of the waste stream: although they account for only 8% of the waste by weight, they occupy about 20% of the volume in a landfill due to their low bulk density.  (22)

In 1988 we used 2 billion pounds of HDPE just to make bottles for household products. That's about the weight of 900,000 Honda Civics.  (21)

Over 16 million tons of plastic waste is generated annually in the U.S. and about 2.2% o of all plastics is currently recycled.  (62)

In the United States, some 3.7 billion PET soft drink bottles (representing 38%) sold in 1992 were recycled, up from 2.8 billion in 1991. This surpasses the plastic industry's goal of recycling 25% of all types of plastic bottles by 1995  .(38)

By the year 2000, PET bottle use in the U.S. is expected to reach 4.7 billion pounds, an increase of 143% since 1994.  (29)

Since the introduction of PET containers in the late 1970's, the industry has reduced the weight of PET in 2-liter bottles from 67 grams on average to about 48 grams; a 28% reduction.  (38)

About nine billion plastic bottles are produced annually in the U.S., about two-thirds of which end up in landfills or incinerators. Most of the rest go to Wellman Inc. a recycling facility in South Carolina. Wellman annually recycles about 2.4 billion plastic bottles into a polyester fiber known as Fortrel EcoSpun, which ends up in active wear.  (40)

It takes 5 recycled two-liter PET bottles to make enough fiberfill for a ski jacket.  (37)

It takes 1,050 recycled milk jugs to make a 6-foot plastic park bench.  (21)

About 70% of all metal is used just once and discarded. The remaining 30% is recycled. After 5 cycles, one-fourth of 1% of the metal remains in circulation.  (27)

About 12.3 million tons of steel waste is generated annually in the U.S., overall, about 15.4% of steel in the waste stream is recycled.  (62)

Making tin cans from recycled steel takes only one-fourth of the energy needed to make them from new steel and creates only one-fourth of the water and air pollution created by making cans from new steel.  (41)

For every pound of steel that is recycled, enough energy is saved to light a 60-watt bulb for more than a day.  (23)

Americans use 100 million tin and steel cans every day. Every minute, more than 9,000 tin cans are recovered from the trash with magnets.  (21)

Every day, Americans use enough steel and tin cans to make a steel pipe running from Los Angeles to New York and back again.  (21)

During the last decade, world steel makers recycled almost 2.5 billion tons of steel.  (21)

Americans throw away enough steel every year to build all the new cars made in America.  (41)

In 1993, approximately 36 million appliances, 30 million tons of steel construction and demolition debris, and 94% of discarded automobiles were recycled.  (58)

100 lbs. Of recycled steel replace almost 150 lbs. Of steel ore. When steel cans were introduced in 1935, they weighed 172 lbs. per thousand; today, they weigh 70 lbs. per thousand.  (38)

In 1989, enough scrap copper was recycled in the U.S. to supply the wiring and plumbing for every building constructed already that year.  (21)

Americans discard 280 million tires a year, 25 to 30% of which are re-treaded or otherwise reused.  (33)

About eight out of every ten tires in the U.S. wind up in landfills or "stockpiles." An estimated 2 to 3 billion tires are currently stockpiled in the United States.  (21)

At one site near Modesto, California, 8 million tires were stockpiled as of 1991. By 1995, through recycling efforts, that number was reduced to 2 million, although they receive 20,000 tires  (44)

Artificial reefs, breakwaters and erosion control barriers made with whole tires can preserve precious natural habitats.  (53)

It takes half a barrel of crude oil to produce the rubber in just 1 truck tire.  (21)

The average baby generates a ton of garbage every year.  (21)

In the United States, we throw away 18 billion disposable diapers per year at a cost of 15-35 cents a piece (diaper services only charge 7-20 cents per diaper).  (28)

In the United States, we throw away the same amount of trash per person as we did in 1910 (a lot of coal ash was produced from heating homes).  (28)

In 1990, cities in California paid over $1 billion to get rid of their trash. Some cities have resorted to shipping their waste hundreds of miles away. Developing countries are being contracted as dumping grounds for U.S. trash.  (26)

United States waste disposal is expected to cost $ 1 00 billion by the year 2000.  (21)

Americans represent only 5% of the world's population, but generate 30% of the world's garbage.  (59)

In the United States, we throw away enough garbage per day to fill 63,000 garbage trucks that hold 7-14 tons of trash. On an annual basis, we fill up enough garbage trucks to form a line that would stretch from earth halfway to the moon.  (28)

Estimates indicate that commercial and recreational boats dump over 14 billion pounds of trash into our seas each year.  (2)

In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage. If you add it up, this means that a 150 pound adult will leave a legacy of 90,000 pounds of trash for his or her children.  (21)

For every $1,000 of fast food sales, 200 pounds of trash is created.  (51)

Californians create about 46 million tons of trash every year. Enough to fill 2 freeway lanes 100 feet deep from Oregon to Mexico.  (51)

Americans make more than twice as much trash per person as people of other countries such as Japan and Germany.  (51)

Of the garbage Americans throw out, half could be recycled. That's enough to fill a football stadium from top to bottom every day.  (26)

Every year, the U.S. generates about 450 million cubic yards of trash-enough to bury 26,000 football fields in a layer of garbage ten feet deep.  (39)

Waste Stream Composition for California in 1990.

* Paper 27.6%
* Plastics 6.5%
* Glass 3.4%
* Metals 5.1%
* Yard Waste 14.5%
* Other organics (food, wood, manure, crop residues etc.) 22.8%
* Other wastes (inert solids, bulky items, furniture etc.) 18.9%
* Special wastes (ash, sewage, asbestos, auto bodies etc.) 1.3%

In 1993, California generated 45 million tons of waste; an equivalent of one ton per second and disposed of approximately 34 million tons. The average household disposed of 47.2 pounds of waste every week.  (7, 10)

In Perkasie, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, residents buy specially marked garbage bags from the city at $1.00 for a 20-pound bag and $1.75 for a 40-pound bag. The charge cut residential waste nearly in half in 1988, the first year of the program.  (34)

Recycling generates on an average one job for every 465 tons of materials handled each year. In other words, Americans generate around 200 million tons of municipal solid waste each year making 43,000 recycling jobs.  (66)

Post-consumer textile product waste in the U.S. annually comprises about 4.5% of the residential waste stream, which translates into approximately 35 pounds per person, totaling 8.75 billion pounds.  (16)

The textile recycling industry, with some 350 members around the world, removes annually from the waste stream 2.5 billion pounds of post-consumer textile product waste.  (16)

The 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile waste represents 10 pounds for every person in the U.S. Of this amount, approximately 500 million pounds are used by the collection agency, with the clothing dealers and exporters, wiping rag graders, and fiber recyclers.  (16)

Textile recycling firms purchase a large percentage of their raw materials from charitable institutions, who in turn use these funds to house, feed, and train the less fortunate.  (16)

Textile industry members are able to recycle 93% of the waste they process­without producing any new hazardous waste or harmful by-products.  (16)

Textile recyclers export 61% of their products, thus reducing the U.S. trade deficit.  (16)

Our Litter & Its Decomposition Time:

* Glass Bottles/Jars 1,000,000 years
* Aluminum Cans 80-100 years
* Rubber Boot Soles 50-80 years
* Leather Items up to 50 years
*Nylon Material 30-40 years
* Plastic Bags/Disposable Diapers 10-20 years
* Plastic Coated Paper 5 years
* Wool Cap 1-5 years
* Cigarette Butts 1-5 years
* Orange and Banana Peels 2-5 weeks
* Newspaper 2-4 weeks

An average American uses 8 times the natural resources of the average world citizen and produces 5 times the air pollution of the average world citizen.  (60)

The world's forests are being destroyed at the rate of 1 acre per second. Every 16 minutes, a forest the size of New York's Central Park is destroyed. Every day, a forest the size of Philadelphia (74,000 acres) is lost, and every year, an area the size of Pennsylvania (27 million acres) is ruined.  (12, 60)

To date, scientists have named 1.4 million species plants and animals, but estimate that between 5-30 million share our planet. Tropical rain forests, which are home to about half of all the Earth's plant and animal species, are being destroyed at the rate of 100 acres per minute.  (56)

Rechargeable batteries cost more than disposable batteries, but they save money in the long run because they can be recharged up to 1,000 times! If you take care of them, they can last up to 10 years!  (41)

In the United States, about 1.5 million tons of used automotive (lead-acid) batteries are generated annually and about 96% of automotive batteries are recycled each year.  (62)

Sixty percent of the world's lead supply comes from recycled car batteries.  (21)

Audits conducted by students in Brown University's environmental studies program show that the school can save more than $40,000 a year just by replacing the incandescent bulbs in exit signs with fluorescent bulbs, Installing low-flow shower heads in dormitories would save another $44,000.  (32)

In 1993, a curbside bin of recyclables was worth $46 per ton. In 1995, a curbside bin of recyclables was worth $165 per ton - an increase of 259%.  (29)

We pay more for food packaging than we pay the American farmer for growing food.  (54)

The 64-store Purity Supreme supermarket chain in Bedford, MA, has opened "green checkout lanes" that are open only to customers who bring their own bags to the store.  (35)

In a supervised project, Boulder County, Colorado dumped over 5,000 old Christmas trees on the bottoms of nearby lakes. Sound strange? It's an ecological benefit, the trees shelter fish and attract bugs for them to eat.  (21)

In a long-term research program at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, ash fabricated into concrete blocks is being used for artificial reefs.  (4)

1991 study by Carnegie Mellon predicted that 25 million personal computers would be landfilled worldwide by 1995, and this number would increase to 150 million--enough to fill an acre-wide hole three and a half mites deep-by the year 2005.  (42)

At about $500 million, the cost of building an incinerator is three times that of recycling facilities that can handle the same amount of trash.  (66)

In some cities, garbage was simply tossed out the window and covered periodically with dirt. During the Bronze Age in Troy, it is estimated that the street level rose an average of about 4.7 feet per century! Gradually, ancient cities like Athens and Jerusalem developed city codes regulating the disposal of garbage.  (64)

About 500 B.C., Athens issued the first known edict against throwing garbage into the streets, and organized the first municipal dumps by requiring scavengers to dispose of waste no less than one mile from the city walls.  (65)

The biggest advance in glass manufacturing prior to the 19th century occurred in 200 BC when Babylonian craftsmen discovered the art of glass blowing.  (46)

From the time of its development in 105 A.D. by the Chinese civil servant, Ts'ai Lun, to the early 19th century, the raw material of paper was rags. A chronic shortage of rags developed toward the end of the 18th century. More people were reading, more books were being printed and, consequently, the price of paper rose while the supply diminished. The results of the shortage were new papermaking methods: In 1802, Mathias Koop began making paper from straw and various wood pulps and on it printed a history of paper. In 1844, the mechanical pulper was developed; a chemical process followed ten years later. Once pulp could be made in large quantities, papermaking machines were quickly developed and trees began to be "digested" in large quantities.  (46)

In 1690, paper recycling in the U.S. was born when the first paper mill was established by the Rittenhouse family on the banks of the Wissahickon Creek, near Philadelphia, PN. The paper at this mill was made from recycled rags.  (30)

Napoleon III is reported to have been the aluminum industry's first customer. The French emperor backed Henri-Etienne Sainte-Claire Deville's chemical extraction experiments. Deville developed a practical way to produce aluminum chemically. When the experiments produced the first aluminum in any quantity, it went into a rattle for the emperor's son.  (25)

Napoleon had dinnerware made of aluminum. At this time, less important guests had to use gold and silver.  (25)

In 1865, an estimated 10,000 hogs roamed New York City, eating garbage.  (21)

In 1868, John Wesley Hyatt invented the first plastic (celluloid) to make billiard balls during an ivory shortage that threatened the billiard industry.  (18)

Photographic film made with celluloid (one of the first plastics) was perfected in the late 1800's. Celluloid film led to a new era in entertainment, the motion picture.  (18)

Curbside recycling originated in 1874 in Baltimore.  (21)

The first systematic incineration of municipal refuse was tested in Nottingham, England, in 1874.  (65)

In 1875, the nation's first incinerator in New York was born. By 1938, design improvements led as many as 700 cities to use incinerators. Now, because of growing concerns over pollution, all but 169 cities have extinguished their garbage burners.  (30)

In 1889, a Washington, D.C. health official wrote: "Appropriate places for [refuse] are becoming scarcer year by year ... The waste must be provided for, and provisions should not be longer delayed".  (30)

In 1897, MRF's were born in the U.S. when New York City had its rubbish delivered to a "picking yard". Here it was separated into five grades of paper, four grades of metal and three grades of carpet. Burlap bags, twine, rubber and horsehair were also separated for reuse.  (30)

During World War I, reducing the weight of bicycles saved 2,000 tons of steel.  (21)

By 1915, 89% of all major U.S. cities had municipal garbage collection service.  (21)

In the mid-1930's, the first "sanitary landfills" were built in California and New York. These were really only open pit dumps, covered with dirt regularly to hide trash and cut down on flies, rats and odors.  (21)

During the raw materials shortage of World War II, virtually all of the worlds silk was used up in the war effort. As a result, women's silk stockings were replaced with nylon stockings. Today, we just call them "nylons."  (18)

During WWII, salvaging metal straps from corsets saved enough metal to build 2 warships.  (21)

As late as 1947, virtually 100% of all beverage containers were returnable.  (21)

The first "architectural" use of aluminum was the cast 100-ounce tip of the Washington Monument (which is still in place).  (25)

The compacting garbage truck, called the "Packer," was introduced in 1950.  (21)

In 1955, the Corvette became the first car built with plastic body panels.  (18)

Between 1960 and 1984, the number of soda containers in America's solid waste stream has tripled.  (21)

The all-aluminum can was introduced in 1964.  (21)

The first PET bottle was recycled in 1977.  (37)

In 1982, the U.S. Army started using a helmet made of a plastic composite called Kevlar* - the same material in bulletproof vests used by police officers. The plastic helmet is about 30% more effective at stopping shell fragments. (18)*'Trademark of E.I. DuPont & Company Inc..

In 1986, Rhode Island became the nation's first state to pass a mandatory recycling law for aluminum and steel "tin" cans, glass, plastic (PET and HDPE) and newspapers.  (30)

In 1987, the infamous "Garbage Barge", the Mobro 4,000, sailed clown the East Coast, through the Bahamas, to Belize and Mexico. The barge was refused permission to dock at each port. After 6,000 miles of sailing, the ship's load of trash was incinerated and the ash was buried on New York's Long Island--where the garbage originated!  (30)

In 1989, more than 90,000 African elephants were killed for their ivory. Even when most countries prohibited commercial trade of ivory, poaching still occurred. However, the increased use of plastic as an ivory replacement has reduced the demand and price of ivory, making poaching less profitable.  (18)

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