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Verdant Community

Cut Waste

Tips, tools and resources to reduce the amount of municipal solid waste that we generate everyday
  • Quick Facts & Stats
  • Easy Tips & Tools
  • Green Products
  • Useful Resources

About Municipal Solid Waste

In the US, we generate an average of about 4.6 pounds of municipal solid waste per person per day, of which we recycle or compost about 1/3 of, so that what is sent to landfills or combusted for energy generation is only about 3 pounds per person per day

Municipal solid waste (MSW), which does not include industrial or construction waste, is made up of about 55 - 65% residential (including waste from apartments) and 35 - 45% commercial and institutional (such as schools, hospitals and businesses) generated waste

Currently, there are only about 1,754 active landfills in the U.S., which is down from 7,924 landfills in 1988. Although the average size of landfills is larger than it was 20 years ago, in the future the number of landfills is more likely to continue to decrease rather than to increase

In 2007, approximately 31.9 million tons of materials, or 12.6 percent of total municipal solid waste, were combusted for energy recovery

Cut Waste

Paper Trail

Reduce the amount of direct mail and bulk mailings that you receive

Contact the Direct Marketing Association at to remove your name from their members' mailing lists

Valpak coupons - you can go to Cox Target Media and complete their simple online form to remove your address from their mailing list

MoneyMailer coupons - you can go to to remove your name from their mailing list

At you can select (for free) which department store or mail order catalogs to not receive in the mail

Rather than receive magazine subscriptions via mail, many publishers offer online subscriptions. Also, local or county public libraries offer online access to a incredible number of newspapers, magazines, and trade journals, which can be read directly from the comfort of your computer screen - check it out!

To stop receiving credit card offers in the mail, you can go to to opt out

Phone books can require a little more persistence in order to stop having them delivered to your home
You can start with the Yellow Pages Association's website, and by entering your zip code, it will provide you with your local directory publishers' contact information to opt out

     - For the Yellow Book directory, you can also go to to opt out

All Things Plastic

Use BPA-free water bottles, rather than buying bottled water, as most of the empty bottled water plastic bottles end up in landfills rather than being recycled

Grocery/shopping bags - Paper or Plastic?
- Use totes made of recycled plastic fibers for dry goods, such as canned, boxed or bottled items; if you use them for packaged meat, fish, vegetables or dairy products, make sure to wash the totes on a regular basis to avoid potentially harmful bacteria from forming
- Use paper or plastic bags for non-dry goods; just be sure to recycle either after use

Avoid buying products packaged in plastic clamshells, as that type of plastic packaging is almost never recycled

Look for products in multipacks or bulk, which will reduce the amount of packaging required compared to single item packs

Cut Waste

BPA Free Water Bottles

To Reduce Waste

You can drop off all CFLs for recycling at your local HomeDepot store