Kid’s Science Quiz: Garbage and Recycling Facts

Written by andrei

Quizzes Tests | March 15, 2024

An 8 Billion Trees illustration of a blonde kid holding a soda can in front of a landfill, illustrating waste and recycling options.

Everyone knows what trash is, but how much do you know about recycling?

Take this kids recycling facts quiz to find out!


Question 1) How much garbage can one person make in a day?

  • The average person tosses out 4 pounds of trash every day. Multiply that by 7 billion (how many people there are), and that’s a lot of trash!1

Question 2) What is recycling?

  • Recycling is one of the best ways to reduce the amount of trash you throw away. You can recycle plastic, glass, paper, metal, and more! When you recycle, the materials get reused to make another product, whether that be a notebook, napkins, or water bottles.2


Question 3) What percent of our trash can be recycled?

Giant piles of garbage pushed by a bulldozer could be recycled.

  • Remember how much trash we throw away? Well, 75% of that trash could be recycled instead! That could mean a lot of trash saved from going to the landfill and dumps.1

Question 4) How much food is wasted in a year?

  • A whopping 21.5 million tons of food is thrown away each year. If we composted that amount of food to turn it into soil, it would have the same effect as removing 2 million cars off the roads.1

Question 5) Recycling helps to protect?

  • Recycling doesn’t just help keep our dumps from filling up too fast… it helps the earth and everything on it, including the oceans, animals, and forests!2

Question 6) How much plastic ends up in our seas every year?

A beach on the Galapagos Islands, with birds and iguanas sitting on the rocks.

  • Plastic takes a really long time to break down and dissolve, almost forever! But 8 million tons of it ends up in our oceans every year, where fish and turtles can mistake it for food and swallow it, or accidentally get stuck in it. But you can prevent that by using less plastic, and recycling the plastic that you do use!1


Question 7) How many times can we recycle a cardboard box?

  • Recycling doesn’t always only happen once. Actually, materials can often be recycled lots of times, so that they have lives as many different items. A cardboard box can be recycled 7 times before it has to be thrown away or added to compost!3


Question 8) What type of useful metals can we find in recycled electronic waste?

  • Metal is a nonrenewable natural resource, meaning that earth makes it naturally, but only has a certain amount of metal that we will use up completely if we’re not careful. But, you can recycle metal! Lots of useful metal, like gold, silver, or copper, can be found in electronics. So instead of throwing away a broken electronic, take it to a recycling center instead!4

Question 9) How many years does it take for plastic to decompose?

  • It takes a plastic bag around 450 years for plastic to decompose.2  That’s more than 5 and half human lifetimes, or half of a millennium, so start using canvas bags instead!5

Question 10) What is the most recycled trash in the world?

  • Aluminum cans are the most recycled trash item in the world.2 Part of this is because people in some areas of the world can get paid to recycle them. Some states in the US pay 10 cents per can!6


1The World Counts. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2021, from   

2Recycling facts quiz. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2021, from 

316 Fun Recycling Facts for Kids – Communities for Recycling. (2021, February 19). Retrieved July 29, 2021, from 

4Vidyadhar Ari, C. (2016, June 29). A Review of Technology of Metal Recovery from Electronic Waste. Retrieved July 29, 2021, from 

5U.S. Life Expectancy 1950-2021. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2021, from 

6How to Make Money Recycling | LoadUp. (2021, July 29). Retrieved July 29, 2021, from