U.S. recycling more according to EPA

New data released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows that, including composting, the U.S. recycled 32 percent of its waste in 2005, up 2 percent from 2004 and doubling the percentage recycled in 1990. The numbers were revealed in a speech delivered today by EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson at the National Recycling Coalition Conference in Atlanta.

The report contained good news on the trash front as well, with 246 million tons of municipal solid waste generated in 2005, a decrease of nearly 2 million tons from 2004. This drop was attributed in part to a 1.5 percent decrease in individual waste generation.

Other information revealed in the report:

- Container and packaging recycling increased to 40 percent.

- Nearly 62 percent of yard waste was composted.

- About 42 million tons of paper were recycled in 2005—a 50 percent recycling rate.

For a summary of the report, visit http://www.epa.gov/msw/msw99.htm