According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United States generates more municipal waste than any other country. As a nation, we are responsible for disposing of more than 250 million tons of trash every year, says the president of the National Solid Wastes Management Association.
Bruce Parker delivered this fact speaking before the Society of Government Economists in Washington, D.C., on June 18. But the industry is doing something about it by using waste for energy and reducing emissions in landfills, particularly methane, he said.
He mentioned that there are 87 waste-to-energy facilities around the country as well as 470 gas-to-energy projects at landfills. The industry is also working on using more fuel-efficient trucks and renewable energy to power compacting equipment.
Since we’ve all given the waste management industry a lot to handle, consider a few simple steps to make your contribution a bit smaller:
- Recycle household waste rather than putting it in the trash can.
- Avoid products with lots of packaging.
- Buy biodegradable products .
- Reuse whatever items or materials you have and reduce waste.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection explains why waste reduction is so important and offers more ways to reduce your waste.