Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Look at Waste

Herewith three charts from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on municipal solid waste (MSW) generation, its recycling, and the recycling rate of some major waste components. The trigger for this post? Why, it’s Tuesday. The trashman comes tomorrow. Today, therefore, we collect the newspapers, cardboard, glass, metals, and plastics and put them in the red container that the second trash truck picks up for recycling. We actually have three trucks passing by here in winter, four in the summer. Trash, recycling, bulky wastes, yard waste. Lots of trucks. Anyway, the recycling bin reminded me of my days at EPA. I was the nation’s first director of EPA’s first Recycling Division, part of the Office of Solid Waste Management (OSWM). Ah, those were the days. Looking at these charts, I can indulge in a little pride. I had some role in the raising of Recycling Mountain. What would you call that? Practicing socio-geology?

The source of these charts is EPA (link). Added later: To see how the Waste Management Industry has performed in recent years, I suggest a look at Market Size Blog (link).

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting post and graphics that are rather striking. Funny that "waste" is a theme that came up for both of us this week.

    By the way, you may want to add a little note ahead of the graphs that explains that MWS stands for Municipal Solid Waste. I stumbled on that acronym for a moment.... figuring solid waste but, what sort? A little explanation would be nice.