Recycling numbers are up and landfilled
Americans are recycling more and throwing away
less according to a new report released by the United States Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA). EPA administrator Stephen L. Johnson, announced
that the United States recycled 32 percent of its waste in 2005.
Including composting, Americans recycled 79 million tons, representing
a 2 percent increase from 2004 and a huge jump from 16 percent in
In all, Americans generated nearly 246 million
tons of municipal solid waste in 2005 – a decrease of nearly
2 million tons from 2004. The decrease is due in part to the decline
in individual waste generation to about 4.5 pounds per person per
day, representing a 1.5 percent decrease from 2004. In addition
to generating less waste, individuals recycled nearly 1.5 pounds
per person per day.
Other data contained in the report show recycling
trends across the board are generally up:
- Container and packaging recycling increased to 40 percent;
- Nearly 62 percent of yard waste was composted; and
- About 42 million tons of paper were recycled—a 50 percent
EPA has collected and reported on data going back
to 1960 on the generation and disposal of waste in the United States.
The information is used to measure the success of municipal solid
waste reduction and recycling programs across the country.