Paper and paperboard account for more than 60% of all materials diverted from the municipal solid waste stream for recycling and composting.
Americans now recover 40% of all paper used. Everyday, U.S. paper makers recycle enough paper to fill a 15 mile long train of boxcars. At the turn of the century, recovered paper is expected to supply 40% of all fiber used to make paper and paperboard products. U.S. paper recovery last year saved more than 90 million cubic yards of landfill space. Recycling corrugated cardboard cuts the emissions of sulfur dioxide in half and uses about 25% less energy than making cardboard from virgin pulp.
Every Sunday, nearly 90% of the recyclable newspapers in the U.S. are thrown away. That's equivalent to dumping 500,000 trees into a landfill every week. American's throw away enough office writing paper annually to build a wall 12 foot high stretching from Los Angeles to New York City. If everyone in the U.S. recycled just 1/10 of their newsprint, we would save the equivalent of about 25 million trees a year. If all morning newspapers read in this the country were recycled, 41,000 trees would be saved daily and 6 million tons of waste would never end up in landfills. Producing one ton of recycled paper uses 64% less energy, and 58% less water than to producing one ton of paper products from virgin wood pulp.
Producing one ton of recycled paper creates 74% less air pollution, 35% water pollution; and saves 17 trees compared to producing one ton of paper products from virgin wood.