The USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its annual analysis of municipal solid waste (MSW) figures. They report that in 2014 about 258 million tons of MSW were generated. More than 89 million tons of MSW were recycled and composted, equivalent to a 34.6 percent recycling rate. More than 33 million tons of MSW were combusted with energy recovery and 136 million tons were land-filled.
In addition about 61 percent of yard trimmings were composted. Organic materials such as paper and paperboard, yard trimmings and food were the largest component of MSW generated. Paper and paperboard accounted for more than 26 percent, and yard trimmings and food accounted for another 28.2 percent.
In 2014, the 89 million tons of MSW recycled and composted provided an annual reduction of more than 181 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, comparable to the annual emissions from more than 38 million passenger cars.