It seems a bit bold for one to think that everything that he or she throws in the recycling bin is recycled.
I would like to know how often things that are thrown into the recycling bin (assuming that the truck comes by to pick up the recycling and that everything in the bin is recyclable) are actually recycled, because I've never personally seen proof that any city or state government does anything with even part of the recyclable materials that it receives. It's possible that recyclables end up in the same piles as garbage, but how can one truly know? Does anybody in the community know for sure that most recyclables are recycled?
If I could narrow this question down a bit, I'd like to know about American recycling statistics. The information provided by Benjol and Oddthinking is helpful in giving a general idea on recycling though, so I thank you for that.