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  • Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States

    Tables and Figures for 2010

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery

    December 2011

  • Table 1

    MATERIALS GENERATED* IN THE MUNICIPAL WASTE STREAM, 1960 TO 2010

    (In thousands of tons and percent of total generation)

    Thousands of Tons

    Materials 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2007 2008 2009 2010

    Paper and Paperboard

    Glass

    Metals

    Ferrous

    Aluminum

    Other Nonferrous

    Total Metals

    Plastics

    Rubber and Leather

    Textiles

    Wood

    Other **

    29,990

    6,720

    10,300

    340

    180

    10,820

    390

    1,840

    1,760

    3,030

    70

    44,310

    12,740

    12,360

    800

    670

    13,830

    2,900

    2,970

    2,040

    3,720

    770

    55,160

    15,130

    12,620

    1,730

    1,160

    15,510

    6,830

    4,200

    2,530

    7,010

    2,520

    72,730

    13,100

    12,640

    2,810

    1,100

    16,550

    17,130

    5,790

    5,810

    12,210

    3,190

    87,740

    12,770

    14,150

    3,190

    1,600

    18,940

    25,530

    6,670

    9,480

    13,570

    4,000

    84,840

    12,540

    15,210

    3,330

    1,860

    20,400

    29,250

    7,290

    11,510

    14,790

    4,290

    82,530

    12,520

    15,940

    3,360

    1,890

    21,190

    30,740

    7,500

    12,170

    15,190

    4,550

    77,420

    12,150

    15,960

    3,410

    1,960

    21,330

    30,070

    7,590

    12,710

    15,400

    4,670

    68,430

    11,780

    15,940

    3,440

    1,970

    21,350

    29,830

    7,630

    13,020

    15,590

    4,710

    71,310

    11,530

    16,900

    3,410

    2,100

    22,410

    31,040

    7,780

    13,120

    15,880

    4,790

    Total Materials in Products 54,620 83,280 108,890 146,510 178,700 184,910 186,390 181,340 172,340 177,860

    Other Wastes

    Food Scraps

    Yard Trimmings

    Miscellaneous Inorganic Wastes

    12,200

    20,000

    1,300

    12,800

    23,200

    1,780

    13,000

    27,500

    2,250

    23,860

    35,000

    2,900

    29,810

    30,530

    3,500

    31,990

    32,070

    3,690

    32,610

    32,630

    3,750

    33,340

    32,900

    3,780

    34,290

    33,200

    3,820

    34,760

    33,400

    3,840

    Total Other Wastes 33,500 37,780 42,750 61,760 63,840 67,750 68,990 70,020 71,310 72,000

    Total MSW Generated - Weight 88,120 121,060 151,640 208,270 242,540 252,660 255,380 251,360 243,650 249,860

    Percent of Total Generation

    Materials 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2007 2008 2009 2010

    Paper and Paperboard

    Glass

    Metals

    Ferrous

    Aluminum

    Other Nonferrous

    Total Metals

    Plastics

    Rubber and Leather

    Textiles

    Wood

    Other **

    34.0%

    7.6%

    11.7%

    0.4%

    0.2%

    12.3%

    0.4%

    2.1%

    2.0%

    3.4%

    0.1%

    36.6%

    10.5%

    10.2%

    0.7%

    0.6%

    11.4%

    2.4%

    2.5%

    1.7%

    3.1%

    0.6%

    36.4%

    10.0%

    8.3%

    1.1%

    0.8%

    10.2%

    4.5%

    2.8%

    1.7%

    4.6%

    1.7%

    34.9%

    6.3%

    6.1%

    1.3%

    0.5%

    7.9%

    8.2%

    2.8%

    2.8%

    5.9%

    1.5%

    36.2%

    5.3%

    5.8%

    1.3%

    0.7%

    7.8%

    10.5%

    2.8%

    3.9%

    5.6%

    1.6%

    33.6%

    5.0%

    6.0%

    1.3%

    0.7%

    8.1%

    11.6%

    2.9%

    4.6%

    5.9%

    1.7%

    32.3%

    4.9%

    6.2%

    1.3%

    0.7%

    8.3%

    12.0%

    2.9%

    4.8%

    5.9%

    1.8%

    30.8%

    4.8%

    6.3%

    1.4%

    0.8%

    8.5%

    12.0%

    3.0%

    5.1%

    6.1%

    1.9%

    28.1%

    4.8%

    6.5%

    1.4%

    0.8%

    8.8%

    12.2%

    3.1%

    5.3%

    6.4%

    1.9%

    28.5%

    4.6%

    6.8%

    1.4%

    0.8%

    9.0%

    12.4%

    3.1%

    5.3%

    6.4%

    1.9%

    Total Materials in Products 62.0% 68.8% 71.8% 70.3% 73.7% 73.2% 73.0% 72.1% 70.7% 71.2%

    Other Wastes

    Food Scraps

    Yard Trimmings

    Miscellaneous Inorganic Wastes

    13.8%

    22.7%

    1.5%

    10.6%

    19.2%

    1.5%

    8.6%

    18.1%

    1.5%

    11.5%

    16.8%

    1.4%

    12.3%

    12.6%

    1.4%

    12.7%

    12.7%

    1.5%

    12.8%

    12.8%

    1.5%

    13.3%

    13.1%

    1.5%

    14.1%

    13.6%

    1.6%

    13.9%

    13.4%

    1.5%

    Total Other Wastes 38.0% 31.2% 28.2% 29.7% 26.3% 26.8% 27.0% 27.9% 29.3% 28.8%

    Total MSW Generated - % 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

    * Generation before materials recovery or combustion. Does not include construction & demolition debris, industrial

    process wastes, or certain other wastes.

    ** Includes electrolytes in batteries and fluff pulp, feces, and urine in disposable diapers.

    Details may not add to totals due to rounding.

    Source: Franklin Associates, A Division of ERG

  • Table 2

    RECOVERY* OF MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE, 1960 TO 2010

    (In thousands of tons and percent of generation of each material)

    Thousands of Tons

    Materials 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2007 2008 2009 2010

    Paper and Paperboard

    Glass

    Metals

    Ferrous

    Aluminum

    Other Nonferrous

    Total Metals

    Plastics

    Rubber and Leather

    Textiles

    Wood

    Other **

    5,080

    100

    50

    Neg.

    Neg.

    50

    Neg.

    330

    50

    Neg.

    Neg.

    6,770

    160

    150

    10

    320

    480

    Neg.

    250

    60

    Neg.

    300

    11,740

    750

    370

    310

    540

    1,220

    20

    130

    160

    Neg.

    500

    20,230

    2,630

    2,230

    1,010

    730

    3,970

    370

    370

    660

    130

    680

    37,560

    2,880

    4,680

    860

    1,060

    6,600

    1,480

    820

    1,320

    1,370

    980

    41,960

    2,590

    5,030

    690

    1,280

    7,000

    1,780

    1,090

    1,840

    1,830

    1,210

    44,480

    2,880

    5,280

    730

    1,300

    7,310

    2,110

    1,140

    1,920

    2,020

    1,240

    42,940

    2,810

    5,300

    720

    1,360

    7,380

    2,140

    1,130

    1,910

    2,110

    1,300

    42,500

    3,000

    5,270

    690

    1,370

    7,330

    2,140

    1,140

    1,910

    2,200

    1,310

    44,570

    3,130

    5,710

    680

    1,480

    7,870

    2,550

    1,170

    1,970

    2,300

    1,410

    Total Materials in Products 5,610 8,020 14,520 29,040 53,010 59,300 63,100 61,720 61,530 64,970

    Other Wastes

    Food Scraps

    Yard Trimmings

    Miscellaneous Inorganic Wastes

    Neg.

    Neg.

    Neg.

    Neg.

    Neg.

    Neg.

    Neg.

    Neg.

    Neg.

    Neg.

    4,200

    Neg.

    680

    15,770

    Neg.

    690

    19,860

    Neg.

    810

    20,900

    Neg.

    800

    21,300

    Neg.

    850

    19,900

    Neg.

    970

    19,200

    Neg.

    Total Other Wastes Neg. Neg. Neg. 4,200 16,450 20,550 21,710 22,100 20,750 20,170

    Total MSW Recovered - Weight 5,610 8,020 14,520 33,240 69,460 79,850 84,810 83,820 82,280 85,140

    Percent of Generation of Each Material

    Materials 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2007 2008 2009 2010

    Paper and Paperboard

    Glass

    Metals

    Ferrous

    Aluminum

    Other Nonferrous

    Total Metals

    Plastics

    Rubber and Leather

    Textiles

    Wood

    Other **

    16.9%

    1.5%

    0.5%

    Neg.

    Neg.

    0.5%

    Neg.

    17.9%

    2.8%

    Neg.

    Neg.

    15.3%

    1.3%

    1.2%

    1.3%

    47.8%

    3.5%

    Neg.

    8.4%

    2.9%

    Neg.

    39.0%

    21.3%

    5.0%

    2.9%

    17.9%

    46.6%

    7.9%

    0.3%

    3.1%

    6.3%

    Neg.

    19.8%

    27.8%

    20.1%

    17.6%

    35.9%

    66.4%

    24.0%

    2.2%

    6.4%

    11.4%

    1.1%

    21.3%

    42.8%

    22.6%

    33.1%

    27.0%

    66.3%

    34.8%

    5.8%

    12.3%

    13.9%

    10.1%

    24.5%

    49.5%

    20.7%

    33.1%

    20.7%

    68.8%

    34.3%

    6.1%

    15.0%

    16.0%

    12.4%

    28.2%

    53.9%

    23.0%

    33.1%

    21.7%

    68.8%

    34.5%

    6.9%

    15.2%

    15.8%

    13.3%

    27.3%

    55.5%

    23.1%

    33.2%

    21.1%

    69.4%

    34.6%

    7.1%

    14.9%

    15.0%

    13.7%

    27.8%

    62.1%

    25.5%

    33.1%

    20.1%

    69.5%

    34.3%

    7.2%

    14.9%

    14.7%

    14.1%

    27.8%

    62.5%

    27.1%

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