Intelligent Energy

Infographic: Reasons why Americans don't recycle

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Americans: wondering why your neighbors don't recycle, wasting energy and resources? Here's an infographic that explains why.

Recycling programs have been around for decades, and most Americans know that reuse saves resources and energy. Yet, just half of U.S. population recycles daily, and 13 percent don't recycle at all. There is a 96% energy savings from reprocessing aluminum, 21% for glass, 45% for newsprint, and above 75% for common plastics, according to Popular Mechanics.

Some of the top reasons why Americans don't recycle more frequently aren't surprising. If the option to recycle isn't readily available, people just don't recycle. While I was a steadfast recycler living in the suburbs, I'll admit that I now fall into that category sometimes. The bins in the lobby downstairs frequently overflow, and my compact New York City apartment is too small for storage.

Here's an infographic based off of an Ipsos Public Affairs study:

Related on SmartPlanet:

More Americans than ever can recycle plastic. Are they?

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David Worthington

Contributing Editor

David Worthington has written for BetaNews, eWeek, PC World, Technologizer and ZDNet. Formerly, he was a senior editor at SD Times. He holds a business degree from Temple University. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure