If you are concerned about your carbon footprint, you probably take the time to cut down on waste and recycle your trash instead of sending it to landfills. Recycling household waste has increased significantly in the last 30 years, as it has become more widely known that reducing waste makes a difference to the environment. In 1980, 89 percent of household waste was sent to a landfill. As recycling programs and awareness increased, that percentage decreased. Only 53.8 percent of waste ended up in a landfill by 2012.
You may not realize that recycling has even more positive effects than reducing waste. For example, just by recycling your soda cans you not only keep them from landfills, you also help reduce fossil fuel emissions. Recycling a ton of aluminum cans saves more than 1,600 gallons of gasoline. That is enough gas to fuel a passenger car for three years and four months. This year Americans will keep 44 billion soda, juice and beer cans out of landfills through recycling. The gasoline saved is enough to fuel more than 722,000 cars for over three years. To learn more about trends in recycling and the amazing effects of reducing waste, check out the infographic below.