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Quick Facts & Stats

Quick Facts & Stats

Quick Facts & Stats 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