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According to EPA estimates, the average American discards 4.34 pounds of garbage everyday.

For perspective:

  • The total volume of solid waste produced in the U.S. each year is equal to the weight of more than 5,600 Nimitz Class air craft carriers, 247,000 space shuttles, or 2.3 million Boeing 747 jumbo jets (Beck).
  • If we put all of the solid waste collected in the U.S. in a line of average garbage trucks, that line of trucks could cross the country, extending from New York City to Los Angeles, more than 100 times.
  • Currently, in the United States, 33.8 percent is recovered and recycled or composted, 11.9 percent is burned at combustion facilities, and the remaining 54.3 percent is disposed of in landfills.