US Solid Waste

EPA What you can do - https://www.epa.gov/recycle/recycling-basics

For updated percentages and figures, please see - https://archive.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/web/html/

Table of Trash Types and Percentages
Trash Type Percentage Tonnage
paper 40.4% 71.6 million tons
yard trimmings 17.6% 31.6 million tons
metals 8.5% 15.3 million tons
plastics 8.0% 14.4 million tons
food scraps 7.4% 13.2 million tons
glass 7.0% 12.5 million tons
other 11.6% 20.8 million tons (e.g., rubber, leather, textiles, wood, miscellaneous inorganic wastes)

    One of the most effective ways to reach people is through demonstration and proof of ideas. This section has gathered facts to help make another case for why it is important for us to be thinking about resource use and waste prevention. All facts mentioned here are sited. Have fun with these facts and use them for posters or to impress your friends and when people want to know, you can say: THAT'S A FACT!

According to Weyerhaeuser's Environmental Savings, recycling one ton of paper saves:

  • 17 trees
  • 6953 gallons of water
  • 462.57 gallons of oil
  • 586.5 pounds of air pollution
  • 3.06 cubic yards of landfill space
  • 4077.45 KWhr of energy

"The Life of Litter. Decomposition Rate for Trash"
Nemve E. Metropolitan Diary, New York Times. October 1, 2001
Paper -- 2.5 months
Orange Peel --- 6 months
Milk Carton -- 5 years
Cigarette Butt -- 10-12 years
Plastic bag -- 10-20 years
Disposable diaper -- 75 years
Tin can -- 100 years
Beer can -- 200-500 years
Styrofoam -- Never (immortal)

Other Environmental Benefits of Recycling
All-recycling-facts.com - http://www.all-recycling-facts.com/benefits-of-recycling.html
eco-cycle Environmental Facts - http://ecocycle.org/ecofacts
Recycling-Revolution, Recycling Benefits: The many reasons why - http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-benefits.html
MassRecycle, Inc., Why Recycle - http://www.massrecycle.org/recycling_benefits.html

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