What do people discard as trash? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than one-third of trash in the U.S. consists of paper products. Office paper, newspapers and magazines, junk mail, cardboard packages and packing boxes composed 34.2 percent of the approximately 250 tons of trash generated by Americans during 2010.
Yard waste makes up 13.1 percent of the total trash toll. Grass clippings, fallen leaves and garden refuse form a significant part of the trash pileup. Nearly 12 percent of total waste in the U.S. consists of food scraps while 11.8 percent is plastic. All those water bottles, soda and milk jugs, food containers and plastic waste from manufacturing add significantly to the collective midden.
Metal, rubber, leather and textiles each represent over seven percent of U.S. discards annually. Wood constitutes 5.7 percent and glass 5.2 percent. Miscellaneous garbage makes up the remaining 3.4 percent of the trash heap.
The good news is that of the 250 tons of trash annually created in the U.S., Americans recycled or composted 85 tons. That amounts to over 34 percent of the trash generated in 2010 that people rescued from eternity in a landfill, reducing the sum total of abandoned garbage through conscientious and environmentally sustainable practices.
Infographic brought to you by ROUND2 INC., an Avnet Company leading the industry in recycling computer parts.