Recycling Facts

Collecting and using materials over again that would normally be thrown away is called recycling.  There are three main types of recycling, including tertiary, secondary, and primary. Primary recycling happens when you take one product, such as cans, and turn it into more cans.

Secondary recycling is when you take a product and turn it into something similar such as a tire being made into rubber mulch, and tertiary recycling is when chemicals are used to break the product down to a completely different product. Recycling is important because it helps to get rid of waste and can help to save resources and causes there to be less waste to deal with.

Recycling Facts for Kids:

  • Aluminum Cans take between 200 and 500 years to break down
  • 110,000,000 glass bottles are sent to landfill in the US every year
  • Recycling a glass bottle can save enough energy to power a computer for 20 minutes
  • The average person in the US will use 700 pounds of paper a year.
  • 17 trees are saved for every tonne of recycled newspaper
  • Over 8 million tons of plastic is discarded in the ocean each year
  • Americans discarded about 460,000 tons of Aluminum foil each year
  • About 100 million stell cans are used every day in the US
  • Over 70% of garbage can be recycled.
  • People only recycle around 30% of garbage.
  • Most people use over 250 tons of garbage per year.
  • People can recycle wood and paper.
  • With the wood and paper that is thrown away, it could heat more than 50,000 homes for twenty years.
  • If you took all of the plastic bottles that are used each year and lined them up, they would circle the whole Earth more than four times.
  • Many people call recycling the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, and recycle).

Top 5 Recyclable Objects

1. Papers & Newspapers

You need 24 trees to produce a single tonne of newspapers.

It makes so much sense to recycle any paper you have at home, which can reduce new trees from being cut down.

2. Aluminum Cans

These are so easy to recycle, melting them down into ingots, which can then be sold to make parts for cars.

Of course, there are many different uses for recycled aluminum cans, but many of them get reused to create new soda cans.

3. Plastic Bottles

Single-use plastic bottles and are convenient. But, in the U.S., we use about 50 million every day.

If we recycled just one, it could save enough energy to power a 60W lightbulb for up to six hours.

4. Glass Bottles

The average family in the U.S. throws away 500 bottles and glass jars every year.

Glass is one of those products that are 100% recyclable

Simple glass bottles and jars – like the one peanut butter comes in, can easily be reused and recycled.

5. Batteries

Batteries are great to have. But, they also contain dangerous chemicals that are bad for the environment.

These chemicals leak into the water table and environment.

Having millions of old batteries leaking chemicals that are in landfill sites would undoubtedly be not good for the environment.

Learn about Food Waste

Food waste is a big problem in America

In America, we throw away 27 million tons of food every year. The American consumer spends around $144 billion every year on food and 43% of this food is wasted and throw in the trash.

Food is wasted in supermarkets, restaurants, hospitals, schools and at home in your own house.

A lot of this food is throw away is perfect and could have been eaten.

It’s incredible to think that in some parts of the world, people are going hungry, but it’s terrible that we are merely throwing food away, which is a massive waste of money.

The Humanitarian Cost

According to The National Resource Defense Council, if we could rescue just 15% of the food that’s wasted, we could feed 25 million Americans each year. Waste management and curbside recycling and really helping but we need more.

That’s an incredible 1.8 billion meals that could be provided for people that need it.

Why is Recycling Good for the Environment?

Recycling is good for the environment because it helps to use materials that are already here to make other materials that can be used again.

When we do this, it helps to get rid of some of the pollutions that comes from the trash.

Why Does Trash Hurt the Environment?

Trash can be very harmful to the environment.  People use over 1.5 tons of waste per year.

This is each person.  That means that with there being over a billion people on Earth, that is a lot of trash!

We have landfills that are used to hold trash, but as the landfills fill up, there are fewer places to put trash after it is used.  Also, the landfills can cause there to be pollution from the chemicals that go into the soil and get into the air and the water supply.

What Can Be Recycled?

There are many things that can be recycled such as

  • Plastic
  • Cardboard
  • Computers
  • Electronics
  • Metals
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Glass containers
  • Aerosol cans
  • Pizza boxes
  • Egg cartons
  • Plastic bottle

Some of the things that we use every day such as soda cans, coffee lids, plastic water bottles, computers, old cereal boxes, plastic containers, and even milk cartons can go into recycling bins and be recycled.

Recycling these items can help the environment to be safe from pollution.


Reusing is another part of recycling.  Reusing is when we take items that we have, and we reuse them for something else.

A great example of this is a milk carton.  If your dad has a toolbox, he can use the milk carton to hold his screws and nails.

Reusing items can help you to not add more waste to the environment.

Other things that can be reused are shopping bags, rags, old clothing, plastic bottles, boxes, and more.


Another important recycling program is reducing and reducing means that we do not buy more things than we need.  By reducing what we buy, we help to save energy and the use of water to make more products.

We can reduce what we use by walking instead of driving, by riding together in one car, and by taking a bike instead of the bus.  All of these ideas help to save gas and air pollution.

Glass and plastic recycling

Why is Recycling Important?

Recycling is important because it helps to protect our environment.

With recycling, people can save wildlife because landfills have to take up many wildlife areas to be filled.

By recycling, we can use fewer landfills and save our wildlife and habitats.

Recycling also saves money.  By recycling, people can save money on new products that they buy, and many places will pay people to turn in bottles and plastics for recycling.

Recycling also helps to lessen pollution.  Using products that are recycled helps to take away a lot of air and water pollution.

When landfills are full, they can hurt the environment.  By recycling, we put less trash into the landfill.

Recycling Pointgeograph

What Did You Learn?

  • What is recycling?  Recycling is taking a product that we have already used and to use it for a new product.
  • What is reusing?  Reusing is when we take a product that we have, and we use it for something else.
  • What is reducing?  Reducing is when we do not buy things that we do not need.
  • Why does recycling help the environment?  Recycling helps the environment by getting rid of waste in landfills, by allowing costs to go down and by using less air and water pollution to make more things.
  • Is recycling important?  Recycling is very important because it can help to save our environment from pollution.