Friday, June 21, 2013

Annual EPA Municipal Solid Waste report published

Below is the official statement on the release of EPA's annual Municipal Solid Waste in the United States report dated May 2013.  It presents data for 2011.  

The data are not perfect and do not measure what goes in any given landfill or incinerator.  What makes these data valuable for policy development is the distinction between manufactured (product) and non-product (organic and inorganic) wastes.  This is possible with the materials flow method used by EPA, but not with BioCycle’s mostly self-reported tonnage data on what actually goes in landfills (which includes a larger universe of materials that varies state to state).

Two bottom lines of the new EPA report:  Solid waste generation was flat in 2011; and the composting rate dropped.    
/Bill Sheehan
EPA has released the 2011 Municipal Characterization Report, which provides data on annual US waste generation, recycling, and disposal. In 2011, Americans generated about 250 million tons of trash and recycled and composted almost 87 million tons of this material. Our national recycling rate is 34.7 percent. On average, Americans generated 4.40 pounds of trash per person per day, and recycled and composted 1.53 pounds of it.  For more information on the generation, recycling, and disposal of various types of materials, please see the full report:

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