Recycling turned into energy saved

Recycling turned into energy saved

By Mayo Clinic News Network

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a handy app that estimates the energy benefits of recycling household items rather than putting them in the landfill.

The app translates the energy saved by recycling common food or household containers into electricity with estimates of how long that much electricity can power a 60 watt equivalent compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulb, a laptop or other items.

Here are some examples:

Energy saved would power a …

Item to be recycled
60 watt CFL bulb for:
laptop computer for:

1 aluminum can
20 hours
5.2 hours

1 plastic bottle
9.8 hours
2.5 hours

1 glass bottle
8 hours
2.1 hours

1 plastic grocery bag
1.3 hours
20 minutes

1 magazine
1.1 hour
20 minutes

Here are other common kitchen items and whether they can be recycled.


Can be recycled in most cases
Bottles and jugs marked 1 or 2
Food jars and beverage bottles
Food and beverage cans
Cardboard boxes and boxes that contained food

Generally can’t be recycled (but worth checking)
Margarine, cottage cheese and yogurt containers, microwave containers, deli trays and wrap
Drinking glasses, mugs, dishes, cookware and pottery
Aerosol cans
Pizza boxes, egg cartons, frozen food boxes and containers soiled with food

The ability to recycle items may depend on your local recycling provider — so check to confirm the appropriateness of items you want to recycle.