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.Plastic Glass Metal Paper 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.