Today is America Recycles Day; Report Shows U.S. Recycling Rate is 33%

Today is the eleventh anniversary of America Recycles Day, a day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. More than 35 states are holding America Recycles Day events, with state and local governments, non-profit organizations, and large industry partners promoting recycling efforts. The official day is supported by the National Recycling Coalition and sponsored by EPA.

"Our recycling rate has increased as more and more Americans recognize that recycling helps our environment and our economy," said Susan Bodine, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "On America Recycles Day, I encourage Americans to celebrate the nation's progress, but also to learn about opportunities to do more."

EPA's new 2007 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization report shows Americans recycled and composted 85 million tons of the 254 million tons of total municipal solid waste produced last year. Each person produced 4.6 pounds of trash per day, of which 1.5 pounds were recycled or composted, making for a national recycling rate average of 33.4 percent. Recycling has increased slightly over 2006, when people recycled and composted around 82 million tons of the 251 million tons of total municipal solid waste produced.

Americans save energy, conserve natural resources, and help reduce climate change every time they reduce, reuse, or recycle. According to EPA, recycling 85 billion tons of municipal solid waste in 2007 saved the energy equivalent of more than 10.7 billion gallons of gasoline and prevented the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 35 million passenger vehicles. Recycling also provides economic benefits by reducing costs to businesses and creating jobs, the agency notes. The American recycling and reuse industry is a $200 billion dollar enterprise involving more than 50,000 recycling and reuse establishments, employing more than one million people, and generating an annual payroll of approximately $37 billion.

For more information on the 2007 Municipal Solid Waste Report, visit www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/msw99.htm. For more information on America Recycles Day, see www.nrc-recycle.org/americarecycles.aspx.

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2021

    November December 2021

    Featuring:

    • GAS DETECTION
      How to Streamline Gas Detector Maintenance
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2021
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      How PPE Can Help You Deal with the Harsh Condition of Winter
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Tackling Hearing Protection in the Workplace
    View This Issue