Green Gleam Project: Trash Stats

Posted: August 6, 2010 in Green Gleam Project 8/4/10 - 8/11/10


I did some research on how long common objects take to decompose in the landfills, as predicted by scientists. Hopefully, the hard facts will convince you to recycle and reuse.

Banana Peel 3 – 4 weeks. Helpful to start a compost pile for your garden.

Paper Bag 1 month

Apple Core 2 months

Leaves 1-3 months

Cotton Rag 5 months

Wool Sock 1 year

Milk Carton 5 years. Slice a corner open and fill it with birdseed.

Cigarette Butt 10-12 years. Smoking is bad for you, anyway.

Lumber 10-15 years

Plastic Container 50-80 years

Tinned Steel Can 80-100 years

Aluminum Can 200-500 years. Recycle your soda cans and they can be reused in as soon as a month!

Plastic Bottle 450 years. It’s time to buy that bright neon thermos you’ve always wanted.

Glass Bottle 500 years

Disposable Diapers 500-600 years

Monofilament Line 600 years! Monofilament is a substance often used for fishing line because of its cheap cost and strength. Unfortunately, the fishing lines are hard to spot in water and are hazards to fish, birds, various marine life, swimmers, and scuba divers.

Styrofoam Cup Eternity. It’ll never decompose.

And I hope that you don’t like the image in your head, of trash building up in landfills.

I was really appalled after finding out that styrofoam won’t decompose, and instantly regretted the times I chose them over paper cups in the supermarket.


  1. Unknown (Jar Jar) says:

    What are we suppost to do about Styrofoam Cups though?

    • Nevermoraven says:

      There are recycliing plants for styrofoam where they pack the styrofoam into a big block and ship it off to where it will be reused again. Unfortunately, shipping is expensive because of the large size of the styrofoam, despite the lightness.

  2. Unknown (Jar Jar) says:


  3. Imagina says:

    wow.. some numbers are shocking! thanks for sharing the info 🙂

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