The following data is from the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2008 report on municipal solid waste. Out of the total 249.61 million tons (m.t.) of waste, 31.79 m.t. are from food and other compostable material (0.80 m.t. got recycled). In addition, there were 49.29 and 77.41 m.t. of wood (including yard trimmings) and paper/paperboard, respectively. Out of them, 22.88 and 42.94 m.t. (respectively) were recycled. Some other categories of waste include biodegradable material – such as leather, some textiles, and special plastics. So, the total amount that ends up in the landfills is about 91.87 m.t. plus some small extra amount, so we’ll round it off to 92. The total amount of waste that doesn’t get recycled is 166.74 m.t., which puts our percentage at slightly above 55%.
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