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Plastics are effectively being recycled at a rate of 2.4 billion pounds per year in the U.S. Doing so helps conserve fossil resources and saves landfill space. Plastic bottles are shred into flakes used for filling in sleeping bags, fleece jackets, carpets and insulation, while jugs and tubs are readily recyclable into new laundry detergent bottles, pens, picnic tables, fencing, and recycling containers.


The code number on the bottom of plastics and bottles is commonly mistaken as an indicator of a product's ability to be recycled. In actuality, this number only indicates the chemical make-up or type of plastic used in the product. Not all types of plastics can be recycled. Today, it is best to recycle by shape: all bottles, jars, jugs and tubs, as those materials are most likely to be made of plastics that truly can be recycled.


Approximately half of all soda cans, food cans and other aluminum products are recycled each year in the U.S. The environmental and economic impacts of these actions are enormous.

Generally accepted items include:*


Shredded cans are melted down, poured into cases, chilled, rolled out and eventually made into new cans. Recycled metals can also become part of a new automobile, airplane or bicycle.

*Consult with your local municipalities on what can be recycled in your area.


Paper products make up 71 million tons of the municipal waste stream in the U.S. Of that amount, upwards of 63 percent (45 million tons) is recycled annually.

Generally accepted items include:* Office paperMagazinesFlattened cardboardNewspaperPhonebooksFlattened cereal boxesJunk mailPaperboardFlattened snack boxes


Paper collected for recycling is sorted, graded and taken to a paper mill. From here, pulp is created and then screened, cleaned and turned into new paper.

*Consult with your local municipalities on what can be recycled in your area.


Glass makes up a large component of household waste due to its weight and density. Every metric ton of glass recycled saves nearly 700 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

Generally accepted items include:*