19 Oct '11, 12pm

[INFOGRAPHICS] America's Waste in Numbers: Then and Now

[INFOGRAPHICS] America's Waste in Numbers: Then and Now

Curbside recycling now serves about half of the U.S. population , but that wasn’t the case in 1970 when very few cities offered these programs. In order to recycle, most residents had to transport recyclables to drop-off centers, which severely limited participation. The U.S. recycling rate in 1970 was 6.6 percent, compared to a 33.8 percent national recovery rate in 2009, according to the most recent EPA data available. So, we recycled less, but we produced less waste, right? Well, yes and no. While overall waste generation has more than doubled since 1970, our use of some materials – like glass and ferrous metals – has decreased or stayed about the same. Paper and paperboard were the most-recycled materials in 1970 and still are today. But recovery stats for some other recyclables may surprise you. Paper Paper made up 28 percent of the waste stream in 2009 and 36.6 perce...

Full article: http://earth911.com/news/2011/10/19/united-states-waste-i...

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