The EPA has been collecting and reporting on the generation and disposal of waste in the United States since 1960. The information is used to measure the success of municipal solid waste reduction and recycling programs nationwide, and to show where the nation needs to make improvements in municipal waste management.

In October 2006, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson shared details of the report titled, Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 2005 Facts and Figures [PDF], during his speech at the National Recycling Coalition Conference in Atlanta. Below are just few of the facts that were covered in and taken directly from the report. To read more on your own go to this link.

Our landfills are accumulating waste at a rate of 2 to 5 lbs of trash per person per day. Over our lifetime, the total would be staggering. But we can help to reduce this waste by reusing and recycling certain items. It's a very small, virtually no-cost way of doing our part and helping our environment.

Americans are recycling more and discarding less, according to a report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that shows the United States recycled 32 percent of its waste in 2005.

Including composting, Americans recycled 79 million tons of waste in 2005-a 2 percent increase over 2004 and a big jump from the 16 percent of waste Americans recycled in 1990 and the 10 percent of waste Americans recycled in 1980.

Americans also generated less municipal solid waste in 2005, a little under 246 million tons, a decrease of nearly 2 million tons from 2004.

More Recycling, Less Waste Per Person

Those figures break down to about 4.5 pounds of individual waste per person per day-a decrease of 1.5 percent from 2004-and nearly 1.5 pounds of recycled waste per person per day.

At Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream our on-going concern for the environment carries through to our daily operations as we participate in a recycling program and try when possible to make environmentally friendly decisions that affect our trash output. It is a work in progress, but we have gradually migrated towards biodegradable cups and plates in addition to purchasing more recyclables in our stores.

To find out how you can make a difference, we invite you to visit the following links provided below:

TFC Recycling
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Steel Recycling Institute
The Aluminum Association
American Forest & Paper Association
Richmond Freecycle