How Long Trash Takes To Degrade

By Robert Robillard on Energy Saving


How Long Does It Take For Trash To Decompose

Have you ever wondered how long litter takes to break down? 

I often hear people say that  some trash item will take years to degrade in a landfill.  Have you ever thought just how long trash takes to degrade?

The surprising thing is I bet it takes longer than what you guessed.

You might be surprised . . .

Glass bottle . . . . 1 million years
Fishing line . . . . 600 years
Plastic bottle . . . . 450 years
Disposable diaper 450 years
Aluminum can . . 80 to 200 years
Foam coffee cup. .50 years
Plastic bag . . . . . 10-20 years.
cigarette butt . . . 1-5 years

Recycling PVC on construction sites

I work n the remodeling and construction field and we recently began using pvc trim and decking.  One of my concerns is what do we do with our cut offs. 

Many lumberyards are placing PVC recycling containers in their yards offering free PVC recycling regardless of the board manufacturer. The PVC will be picked up, ground up and re manufactured into new Cellular PVC boards.

READ my post on reducing our carbon footprint.

~ concord carpenter

source: U.S. Nat. Park Service

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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