Waste Management

Statistics and Facts about Waste Management

Waste Management statistics In this section, Statista presents the most relevant and up-to-date facts relating to the waste management industry.


Waste, more commonly known as garbage, trash or litter, can be split up into a hazardous and a non-hazardous segment. Hazardous waste can be liquids, solids, semi-solid sludges or gases that are known to exhibit one or more of the following characteristics: ignitability, reactivity, corrosivity and toxicity. While hazardous waste needs to be stored in safe tanks or containers, non-hazardous waste may be disposed of at landfills or incineration facilities. There are about 1,900 municipal waste landfills in the United States. Veolia Environnement, Waste Management and Republic Services are counted among the largest waste management companies worldwide.

The trash that is produced in the residential sector is called municipal solid waste (MSW). MSW includes grass clippings, food scraps, packaging, computers and refrigerators. Many materials that end up in waste streams can be recovered for recycling. Ferrous and non-ferrous metals are among the most precious recyclable commodities. Many industries have taken to collecting scrap from waste streams, wrecked automobiles, dismantled buildings or other industrial sources. The use of recycled materials also provides environmental benefits such as energy savings and a reduced amount of materials in the municipal solid waste stream. Globally, waste recycling rates are highest in European countries, such as Austria, Germany and Belgium.

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