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U.S. solid waste industry revenue 2000-2017

The solid waste industry in the United States generated 63.4 billion U.S. dollars of revenue in 2017. Municipal solid waste is more commonly known as the garbage produced by households and can include packaging, grass clippings, bottles, and newspapers. Material that is recovered from the waste stream can be recycled and composted, the remainder will end up in landfills. The average American generated 4.51 pounds of trash per day in 2017, an increase from 2.68 pounds per day in 1960. Food and other organic wastes made up the largest share of waste materials landfilled.

Waste streams

The municipal solid waste industry is highly regulated by public policies and regulations and is regionally dependent. The waste composition generated by different regions will require different waste management technologies. In the United States, paper and paperboard products account for the largest share of municipal solid waste. However, generation of paper products has declined as the consumption of newspaper and office papers have been reduced due to increased use of electronic records.

Revenue of the solid waste management industry in the United States from 2000 to 2017 (in billion U.S. dollars)*

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Release date

April 2020


United States

Survey time period

2000 to 2017

Supplementary notes

* The figures from 2000 through 2010 are taken from the “Statistical Abstract of the United States”, published by the U.S. Census Bureau in September 2011. The figure from 2011 is taken from an Environmental Business International update. Other figures are compiled from other annual reports.
The solid waste industry covers such activities as collection, transportation, transfer stations, disposal, landfill ownership and management for solid waste and recyclables.

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Statistics on "Waste management in the U.S."

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