Recycling steady, waste stream gets lighter as paper and packaging waste continue to decrease

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U.S. EPA's Latest Municipal Solid Waste Data Demonstrates America's

Evolving Waste Stream

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National

Waste & Recycling Association (Waste & Recycling) today offered

additional insight into the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

report on municipal waste generation and recycling rates, noting that

the latest statistics, based on 2012 data, show a continual decline in

per capita waste generation and an evolving waste stream that

continues the trends of less printed paper and lighter-weight


The EPA report, "Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling and

Disposal in the United States," was released in late February.

"EPA's statistics show that Americans are disposing of less

waste-about 4.38 pounds of waste per person per day-continuing a

decline that began in 2000," said Sharon H. Kneiss, president and CEO

of Waste & Recycling, which represents private sector companies across

all 50 states that collect, manage, dispose and recycle waste.

Kneiss added that while waste recovery rates dipped slightly to

260,000 tons, these statistics do not necessarily mean that Americans

are recycling less.

"Part of the dip in recycling can be attributed to our evolving waste

stream," Kneiss said. "We're generating less printed

material-newspapers, office paper or magazines-as we shift to a

digital world.

"Meanwhile, packaging recycling has continued to climb-more than half

of all packaging is now recycled-and this packaging is getting lighter

and greener as manufacturers seek to minimize their environmental

footprint," she said. "But the bottom line is that the public can help

increase the recycling rate by getting the right materials in the bin

in the first place. It begins with the bin."

Among other notable findings in the report:

-- Population growth is still outpacing waste generation, and waste

generation also continues to grow slower than the economy. Total

national waste generation increased by only 500,000 tons, or 0.19


-- Waste disposal rose very slightly and recovery (including recycling

and composting) dropped very slightly. Land disposal of waste peaked

in 1990, and waste-to-energy generation peaked in 2000.

-- Packaging continues to be the largest component of trash (30

percent), followed by food waste and yard trimmings (28 percent),

nondurables (20.5 percent), durables (20 percent) and miscellaneous

inorganic wastes (1.5 percent).

-- Packaging recycling has steadily increased during this decade, from

38 percent in 2000 to 51.5 percent in 2012. Printed paper recycling

rose even more dramatically, from 42 percent in 2000 to 71 percent in


For more information on the waste and recycling industry, and for

facts and figures about waste disposal and recycling, visit

The National Waste & Recycling Associationis the trade association

that represents the private sector waste and recycling services

industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and

include companies that collect and manage garbage, recycling and

medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors and a variety

of other service providers. For more information about how innovation

in the environmental services industry is helping to solve today's

environmental challenges, visit

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s),

click appropriate link. Sharon H. Kneiss

Logo -

SOURCE National Waste & Recycling Association

-0- 03/10/2014

/CONTACT: Thom Metzger, 202-364-3751 or


/Web Site:

CO: National Waste & Recycling Association

ST: District of Columbia




-- DC79948 --

0000 03/10/2014 14:18:00 EDT

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