The State of Garbage in America, 2006


sog.gifThe good people of BioCycle magazine and the Earth Engineering Center of Columbia University have been tracking the ebb and flow of America’s municipal solid waste—as in all private and commercial trash that isn’t construction debris—since 1989.  Their recently released 2006 report (affectionately known as the SOG), reveals that overall Americans recycle about one-third of our waste and send nearly two-thirds to landfills.  Only seven percent is burned and less than one percent is burned for energy.

New York dropped from first to third on the list of states that export the most trash, following Jersey at number two and the surprising front-runner of Maryland.  Who knew?  Changes in the way in which exported trash was counted this time around contributed to some of this drop, the authors explain, as a couple million tons of construction debris was knocked off the Empire State’s tally.  Even so, as of 2004, New York remained the third most squeamish state when it comes to dealing with our own garbage.  Interestingly, our recycling rate is above the national average, though with states like Alabama sending nearly 90% of their trash to landfills, the bar wasn’t set all that high.

This concludes the dry numerical portion of the blog.  At least for the moment.

One Response to “The State of Garbage in America, 2006”

  1. salmon Says:

    worry not, a lil’ dry numerics is good for us.

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