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Getting Wasted: Recycling Stats From Around The World

Getting Wasted: Recycling Stats From Around The World

The saying goes that “haste makes waste.”

Below the surface of this sentiment is a simple lesson: being careless with resources while in pursuit of instant gratification will cost you money (and perhaps your health) in the long run.

Slowly but surely, individuals and industries are learning that products made as cheaply as possible end up being more expensive in the end. People are starting to vote with their dollars and sending a strong message to wasteful companies about the value of recycled and recyclable products.

But the recycling loop only works if you participate in all aspects, from buying recycled products to recycling them. It’s easier than ever to divert certain types of waste from the landfill through recycling facilities, but are we taking advantage of this convenience?

The infographic below contains several striking statistics about how much waste we produce as a species, and how much of that actually gets recycled into something else.

++ Click to Enlarge Image ++
All About Recycling

Related Reading:

All It Takes Is A Nickel: Plastic Bags And Earth Week

How Clean Is Clean Enough For Recycling?

Recycling E-Waste Harms Developing Countries

Source:Reusable Bags

Image Credit: Flickr – timtak

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38 comments

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8:22AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

It never ceases to amaze me how far behind America is. In Portugal we have paper, plastic/metal , glass, batteries and now clothers bin to help the poor. They are always full and I think we need to educate a lot more about recycling as I feel we could do so much more.
So, all you American citizens please get Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. Now.!

7:25AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

I live in Iowa and there is some recycling here. The state has a 5 cent deposit on beer and pop cans and bottles that will be refunded when you bring them back to the store. There is also recycling of paper, metal, glass and plastic. But the only plastic that is recycled is #1 and #2, and I don't know why the other plastics aren't recycled. Most cities and towns have a composting area that YOU have to take the compostables to, but usually a person can go and get free compost. The only trouble with that is that the lawen cliipings that have been treated with herbicides, chemical fertilizers and other things are mixed in with the nontreated stuff and you have to be careful if you want to use it a garden or flower bed.

7:10AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

very informative, we need more articles like this one to keep us in the loop

6:46AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

Very interesting article Beth, thank you. In South Africa we need a huge educational drive on recycling in schools, households etc.. Unfortunately we have a long way to go :-(

12:53AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

Great article Beth Buczynski! Keep them coming! Why is recycling not common practice in this country and the rest of the civilized world? When I travel to other countries, it is made know to you that there is an emphasis on recycling the moment you step off the plane. There are numerous receptacles for various types of waste. Why does it seem like it takes an act of Congress to get some forward thinking going in America? Why aren't we leading the world in recycling and green thinking???

12:55PM PDT on Jul 24, 2011

i've just started recucling recently, i wish more people would learn about it and do it too!!

9:32AM PDT on Jul 24, 2011

Okay,quite sad how long the U.S.A is >.> Come on people!

7:10AM PDT on Jul 24, 2011

I recycle everything I can. Just wish apartment buildings had composters. We have so much grass around our buildings, but no composters which is a crying shame. Less garbage would mean less money for hauling it away every week.

1:08AM PDT on Jul 24, 2011

Thanks for the article.

8:02PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

This graph was outstanding. It was easy to read and inspiring. Would like to ask the supermarkets (all four of them) to post this in a conspicuous spot. If you could just reach people and show them how much it matters.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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