The GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN) has released Wasting and Recycling in the United States 2000, a report that provides a comprehensive review of progress in recycling and environmental impacts of wasting resources, and presents a strategy for eliminating waste. The report shows that while recycling has increased, waste in landfills and incinerators increased by 4.4 million tons between 1996 and 1997. The analysis is based on data from the U.S. EPA and other published sources. According to GRRN Network Coordinator Bill Sheehan, “Waste generated from residential and commercial sources is just the tip of the ‘wasteburg.’ For every garbage can placed at the curb, the equivalent of another 71 garbage cans worth of waste is created in mining, logging, agriculture, oil and gas exploration, and the industrial processes converting raw materials into finished products and packaging.” The report notes that recovering the more than 45 billion aluminum cans landfilled in 1998 in the U.S. would conserve enough energy to supply the electricity needed by the city of Atlanta for two years. To read sections on-line, see www.grrn.org.
Contact Bill Sheehan at zerowaste@ grrn.org