Fun Facts

How long does it take?

Litter is a growing problem in many areas. It is important to know what happens to litter when it is discarded. Eventually, most litter will break down, but most people don’t realize how long this takes. Remember these rates of degradation the next time you are tempted to litter.

  • piece of paper- 2-4 weeks
  • cotton rag- 1-5 months
  • unpainted wood- 1-4 years
  • painted wood- 13 years
  • railroad cross tie- 30 years
  • tin or steel can- 10 years
  • aluminum can- 200-500 years
  • plastic six pack holder- 450 years
  • glass bottle- unknown

Did you know?

For each full bag of garbage we take to the curb, the primary resource industry creates the equivalent of 71 full bags of waste. (Source: Recycling Council of Ontario ).

  • One pound of newspaper can be recycled to make six cereal boxes, six egg cartons or 2,000 sheets of writing paper.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100 watt light bulb burning for almost four hours or power a television for three hours.
  • One gallon of waste oil used as fuel contains about 14,000 Btu of energy.
  • It takes 36 two liter bottles to produce one square yard of carpet.
  • Recycling one ton of glass saves about nine gallons of fuel oil.
  • Ohioans throw out an average of 5.5 pounds of trash per person per day!
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