The total amount of Municipal Solid Waste generated in the United States is approximately 388,959,390 tons per year! This is a lot of waste, and off this waste, only 87,699,319 tons are recycled. Which means that approximately ONLY 22% of the whole municipal waste generated by the US is being recycled. So, what happens to the other 78% of waste that doesn’t get recycled? Well, absolutely nothing, it just gets buried there in the landfills doing absolutely nothing. Landfills are created in order to isolate the trash from the environment, but because they are so isolated, trash can’t decompose or break down properly. The final objective of these landfills is to bury the trash and nothing more but contaminating our environment.
Some problems that result from landfills are contamination of the soil and water with the toxins all the trash releases, the accumulation of electronic waste, the formation of leachate (water that has percolated through a solid and leached out some of the constituents), and greenhouse gases.
From all the states, Minnesota is the state that has the highest percentage of recycled municipal solid waste, at 44.8%! And then we’ve got Louisiana, which only recycles 0.5% of their municipal waste. It’s states like Lousiana that need to follow Minnesota’s example. If all states could get to recycling at least 50% of the municipal waste, we surely would see a change in our environments.
The change has to start from ourselves, as individuals, we need to start being more conscious about the garbage we produce. If only recycling 22% of all the municipal solid waste in the US isn’t reason enough to start recycling and making a more conscious effort to be kinder to our environment, check out our Shocking Garbage Facts and perhaps you’ll finally be convinced that a change needs to happen.
We need not only to educate ourselves, but we also need to educate and motivate the ones around us. Setting an example for the newer generations, and motivating the older ones. We urge you to play an active role in reducing the amount of waste we create and motivate others to do the same.
|State||Waste Generation (tons/year)||Waste Recycled|
|District of Columbia||471,430||20,271|