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So let's fix it, shall we?

Johnny Galecki - actor and volunteer advocate for Recycle Across America's standardized label solution and "Let's recycle right!" PSA campaign

PROBLEM:  Inconsistent labels on bins are causing public confusion about recycling and resulting in millions of tons of garbage being thrown in recycling bins.  Garbage thrown in recycling bins is causing a crisis for recycling in the U.S. (Read this USA Today article to learn more)


SOLUTION:  The good news is that the non-profit society-wide standardized labels for bins are the #1 solution to help people recycle properly and therefore the standardized labels are the #1 solution to fix U.S. recycling.  The standardized labels are proven to increase recycling levels

50-400%.   Read more.

This Stop Sign Analogy Video Explains It Very Simply

Top 7 Facts to Know:
  • Without exception, recycling is the top action society can do to simultaneously improve: the environment, the economy, sustainable manufacturing and to prevent waste from going into oceans.

  • Recycling is in a crisis in the U.S. due to public confusion about recycling. 

  • U.S. recycling levels are currently 21.4% (recent EPA funded Yale University Study)

  • When U.S. recycling levels reach 75% it will be the environmental and CO2 equivalent of removing 55 million cars from U.S. roads each year.

  • When U.S. recycling levels reach 75% it will generate 1.5 million new jobs in the U.S. (net).

  • Manufacturers truly want these materials back to reuse in their manufacturing, but they aren't able to reuse the materials if people don't recycle right.

  • The nonprofit standardized label mission is the #1 solution to help society begin to recycle right and therefore, help recycling begin to thrive. 

General Recycling Facts

There is absolutely no other action available today that can have this type of simultaneous positive impact so many things critical to our existence on this planet.

  • For the economy:

    • Recycling is a $200 billion industry in the U.S.

    • Recycling generates 7-10 more jobs that landfills and waste to energy plants.  

    • Recycling properly creates valuable resources for U.S. manufacturing and can become a highly valuable export to countries such as China and India. 

  • For the environment:

    • Recycling conserves finite natural resources - this is critical as ​population continues to grow exponentially.

    • Recycling conserves fresh water up to 95% in the mining and manufacturing process for many materials.

    • Recycling prevents waste from going into oceans - it is proven, when there is a strong recycling culture, there is less litter and less waste going into ocean

    • ​​Protects forests which help to reduce CO2 emissions

    • Significantly reduces use of fossil fuel energy and reduces CO2 emissions


Additional facts to know:

  • According to a recent Yale University/EPA study, the U.S. recycles less than 22% of its discarded materials.

  • The U.S. recycling levels have not improved in 20 years despite the billions of dollars spent on recycling competitions, symposiums, awareness campaigns and new sorting technologies.

  • Despite only representing 5% of the world population, the U.S. generates more waste than any other country in the world. (World Watch Institute)

  • In less than 15 years, worldwide waste is expected to double. (World Watch Institute)

  • One fact remains - if the public is confused when they approach the recycling bin, they will continue to: make mistakes, be apathetic and be skeptical about recycling - and therefore, contamination levels will continue to be high, recycling will continue to be economically crippled, recycling levels will not increase and environmental progress will be stalled. Read industry leader testimonials here.

  • Good news:  With the help of standardized labels displayed on recycling bins throughout society, recycling can begin to thrive and when the US recycling levels reach 75%, it will be the *environmental benefit of removing 50 million cars from the road each year and it will generate 1.5 million new jobs (net).  (*Tellus Institute)  

  • Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 12 foot high wall from Seattle to NY (a new wall every year).

  • Making paper from recycled paper reduces the related contribution to air pollution 95%.

  • Recycling a stack of newspaper just 3 feet high saves one tree.

  • More than 37% of the fiber used to make new paper products in the U.S. comes from recycled sources.


  • Recycling cardboard only takes 75% of the energy needed to make new cardboard.

  • Recycling 1 ton of cardboard saves 46 gallons of oil.

  • Over 90% of all products shipped in the US are shipped in corrugated boxes, which totals more than 400 billion square feet of cardboard.

  • Nearly 80% of all retailers and grocers recycle their cardboard.


(food waste with food-soiled paper products)
  • Food and paper waste used for food can be composted into nutrient rich soil and sold to farmers.

  • Almost half of the food in the U.S. goes to waste - approximately 3,000 pounds per second.

  • Food scraps make up almost 12% of municipal solid waste generated in the U.S.

  • Many schools and businesses are starting to compost food waste on site.

Hard to Recycle Items

  • Did you know that more than 80 percent of mattresses can be recycled? Instead of sending them to the landfill, click here to find out how to properly dispose of your mattresses.

  • Glass can be recycled and re-manufactured an infinite amount of times and never wear out.

  • Making glass from recycled material cuts related water pollution by 50%.

  • Recycling just one glass jar saves enough electricity to light an 11 watt CFL bulb for 20 hours.

  • More than 28 billion glass bottles and jars end up in landfills every year -- that is the equivalent of filling up two Empire State Buildings every three weeks.

Food Waste

(without paper products)
  • Food waste can be used for composting and sold to farmers or it can be provided as a food source for local animal farms that meet federal, state and local regulations for food scrap usage.

  • Almost half of the food in the U.S. goes to waste - approximately 3,000 pounds per second.

  • Food scraps make up almost 12% of municipal solid waste generated in the U.S.

  • Many schools and businesses are starting to compost food waste on site.


  • In 2007, 82% equalling 1.8 million tons of ewaste (various electronics e.g. TVs, cell phones, computers etc) ended up in landfills.

  • In 1998, the National Safety Council study estimated about 20 million computers became obsolete within 1 year. In 2007, that number increased to 40 million.

  • Electronic waste total approximately 2% of the waste stream in the U.S.

  • Several states have now created mandatory collection and recycling programs for electronics.



  • Five plastic bottles (PET) recycled provides enough fiber to create one square feet of carpet or enough fiber fill to fill one ski jacket.

  • Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.

  • Recycling one ton of plastic bottles saves the equivalent energy usage of a two person household for one year.

  • Every three months, Americans throw enough aluminum in the landfills to build our nation’s entire commercial air fleet.

  • The average person has the opportunity to recycle more than 25,000 cans in a lifetime.

  • Recycling a single aluminum can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours.

  • It requires 95% less energy and water to recycle a can than it does to create a can from virgin materials.




Be part of the solution

not part of the confusion.

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