EPA wants to know: What can you do to increase your own recycling rate over the national average of 33.4 percent?
EPA’s new 2007 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization report shows Americans recycled and composted 85 million tons of the 254 million tons of total municipal solid waste produced last year, according to an agency press release.
Each person produced 4.6 pounds of trash per day, of which 1.5 pounds were recycled or composted. Recycling has increased slightly over 2006, when people recycled and composted around 82 million tons of the 251 million tons of total municipal solid waste produced.
Recycling 85 billion tons of municipal solid waste in 2007 saved the energy equivalent of more than 10.7 billion gallons of gasoline and prevented the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 35 million passenger vehicles.
The U.S. recycling and reuse industry is a $200 billion dollar enterprise involving more than 50,000 recycling and reuse establishments, employing more than 1 million people, and generating an annual payroll of approximately $37 billion, according to EPA.