Did you know that we throw away 27 million tonnes of household rubbish every year in the UK? Most of this ends up buried in landfill sites - giant rubbish tips that are dotted around the country.
Of the remaining rubbish:
If we wanted to, we could recycle over 80% of our rubbish in the UK. Using scrap materials instead of new ones would have a dramatic effect on the amount of energy we use. Environmental organisation Friends of the Earth has calculated that we could make 22% energy savings by using recycled glass; 70% by using recycled paper; 74% by using recycled steel; and a massive 96% by using recycled aluminium.
Some countries are much better than the UK at recycling waste. For example in Kenya, people have learned to become extremely resourceful with the materials at their disposal. This case study tells the story of one man who even thought of turning tractor parts into garden hoes...