Waste Related Quick Facts

By the age of 6 months, the average Canadian has consumed the same amount of resources as the average person in the developing world consumes in a lifetime.

(Recycling Council of Ontario)

In a lifetime, the average North American will throw away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage. A 68 kg adult will leave a legacy of 40,825 kg of trash.

(Natural Resources Canada)

The presence of humans in a variety of ecosystems is normal and expected. We, like plants and animals, need food, water and shelter. Our goal should be to do this in a way that ensures our habitats are maintained for future generations.

(Parks Canada)

On April 26, 2003, the City of Toronto had its best "Community Clean-Up Day" event ever. More than 6,000 people cleaned up sites such as parks, ravines, watercourses, lane ways and other public areas.

(City of Toronto)

While packaging is sometimes necessary for health and shelf life reasons, one look at store shelves will alert you to the trend for increasingly excessive packaging. By taking a few extra moments to consider alternatives at the grocery store before you buy, you can save money and reduce trash.

(Government of Canada)

Plastic products contribute 7% by weight and 30% by volume to municipal solid waste.

(Recycling Council of Ontario)

In 2002, Canadian governments and businesses disposed of 31 million tones of municipal, commercial & industrial, and construction & demolition waste. That's 2.7 kg of waste for each Canadian per day!

(Statistics Canada, 2004)

Across Canada it costs more than $1.5 billion per year to dispose of garbage.

(Destination Conservation)

10 plastic soft drink bottles are required to make the fiberfill for one ski jacket.

(Greater Vancouver Regional District: Just the Facts)

Presently, 80% of municipal and industrial solid waste in Canada is disposed of by landfilling processes, with the remainder disposed through recycling, resource recovery and incineration.

(Government of Canada)

Landfills sites account for about 38% of Canada's total methane emissions.

(Environment Canada)

In 2002, western Canada's three provincial Used Oil Filter and Container Recycling Programs recovered 94 million litres of use oil, the equivalent of over twice the amount of oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez. That sounds like a lot but it's only about 75% of the used oil available for recycling!


About 1/3 of our waste is paper and paperboard. Another third is yard and kitchen waste. The rest is divided among glass, metals, plastics, textiles, wood and other materials.

(Environment Canada)


There are well over 10,000 landfill sites in Canada.

(Environment Canada)

One pound of newspaper can be recycled to make 6 cereal boxes, 6 egg cartons or 2,000 sheets of writing paper.

(Recycling Council of Ontario)

Recycling one ton of glass saves about nine gallons of fuel oil.

(Recycling Council of Ontario)

The automobile is the most recycled consumer product in the world today. It takes about 45 seconds to shred the average automobile into fist-sized pieces for recycling.

(Clean Air Foundation)

The first PET (plastic) bottle was recycled in 1977.

(The National Association of PET Container Resources)

Canadians spent $307.5 billion on retail purchases in 2002.

(Statistics Canada)

A 600-watt photocopier left on standby for 24 hours a day uses about $750 of electricity in a year. If this machine is turned on only during normal working hours, two thirds of this electricity will be saved.

(New Zealand Ministry for the Environment)

Water is a limited resource that we need to use wisely. Only 1% of the world's water supply is usable, 97% is ocean and 2% is ice frozen at the poles.

(Environment Canada)

Nearly 55% of every aluminium can is made from recycled aluminium.

(American Recycler)

Recycling one tonne of newspaper saves 19 trees, 3 cubic metres of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatt hours of energy, 29,000 litres of water and 30 kgs of air pollution.

(Recycling Council of Ontario)

17 million Canadians have access to recycling.

(Environment Canada)

25% of the energy used to manufacture cardboard is saved when the cardboard is recycled.

(The Eco-Efficiency Centre)

More than 140,000 tonnes of computer equipment, phones, televisions, stereos and small home appliances accumulate in Canadian landfills each year. That's equivalent to the weight of about 28,000 adult African elephants or enough uncrushed electronic waste to fill up the Rogers Centre every 15 years.

(Environment Canada)