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Municipal solid waste (MSW), commonly known as trash or garbage, consists of everyday items discarded by the public, from food scraps to newspapers to packaging and clothing. Municipal solid waste comes from households, commercial establishments, and health facilities and is collected by waste haulers.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. generated 254 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2013 (before recycling), broken down into these categories:
- Paper (27%)
- Food (14.6%)
- Yard trimmings (13.5%)
- Plastics (12.8%)
- Metals (9.1%)
- Rubber, leather, and textiles (9%)
- Wood (6.2%)
- Glass (4.5%)
- Other (3.3%)
Many of these materials, including clean paper, metals, plastics, and glass, can be recycled. Per the EPA, best practices for reducing landfill waste include waste reduction and prevention, recycling, and composting of organic waste (food scraps, yard trimmings).
The statistics show why strategic handling of municipal waste is so important. In 2013, recycling and composting prevented more than 87 tons of municipal solid waste from ending up in landfills. This prevented the release of 186 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air that year—the equivalent of taking more than 39 million cars off the road.
Waste Management Strategies Help Businesses Slash Costs
Keeping recyclable waste out of landfills is a major challenge for municipalities across the country. Some cities don’t adopt recycling programs or refuse to collect certain types of recyclable materials if the costs of recycling outweigh landfilling these items. This is bad news for the nation’s ever-shrinking landfills and bad news for the environment.
The expert municipal solid waste management consultants at Global Trash Solutions can help cities and businesses find cost-effective solutions for managing municipal waste.
Reduce Municipal Solid Waste. Save Money.
Our waste reduction consultants are industry experts who have spent years studying the waste management market and its trends. We have a proven track record of helping businesses find solid waste solutions to reduce landfill waste and cut costs.
Ready for an obligation-free consultation and evaluation of your waste and recycling needs? Contact us and start saving today!