Waste-less Wednesday

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  • America’s waste industry successfully manages 250 million tons of household and other municipal solid waste annually (U.S. EPA, “Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2010” [EPA Facts and Figures]).
  • The average American discards 4.43 pounds of garbage every day (EPA Facts and Figures).

  • However, when construction and demolition waste and non-hazardous industrial waste is included, the industry manages nearly 545 million tons of solid waste each year (“Size of the United States Solid Waste Industry,” R.W. Beck, Inc. 2001).

  • The total volume of solid waste produced in the U.S. each year is equal to the weight of more than 5,600 Nimitz Class air craft carriers, 247,000 space shuttles, or 2.3 million Boeing 747 jumbo jets (Beck).

  • If we put all of the solid waste collected in the U.S. in a line of average garbage trucks, that line of trucks could cross the country, extending from New York City to Los Angeles, more than 100 times (Beck).