Recycling of U.S. municipal solid waste 1960-2015

Recovery of U.S. municipal solid waste for recycling from 1960 to 2015 (in million tons)

by T. Wang, last edited Oct 1, 2019
Recycling of U.S. municipal solid waste 1960-2015 One of the first mass recycling programs in the United States was implemented in 1970 in Hawaii. Since then, the recovery of municipal solid waste (MSW) for recycling has increased, reaching 67.8 million tons in 2015.

U.S. recycling since China’s plastic import ban

China was once the largest purchaser of plastic imports from the United States, but in 2017, China implemented a ban on the import of most plastic waste, with the exception of only the highest quality plastics. Instead, countries like Vietnam, Turkey, and Malaysia have taken on the burden of plastic waste. Much of the previously exported plastic waste must now be dealt with domestically, and many municipalities are struggling, finding that many plastic products cannot be recycled. Since the ban, many cities have been unable to keep up with the volume of recycled goods, and hundreds of local recycling programs have collapsed.

Single stream recycling

In the United States, single stream recycling is commonly used by material recovery facilities (MRFs). This system allows many different types of recyclables, including paper, plastic, metal, and glass to be placed into one container and is then collected and sorted within the MRF. Single stream recycling tends to increase recycling rates due to its ease, encouraging consumers to recycle. However, allowing consumers to put all materials into one waste bin increases contamination such as broken glass or presence of non-recyclable items. Single stream recycling tends to decrease the quality of materials recovered.
Show more

Recovery of U.S. municipal solid waste for recycling from 1960 to 2015 (in million tons)

You need to log in to download this statistic
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $588 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.

Premium Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$49 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.
Leading companies trust Statista:
paypalgoogleadobepgsamsungtelekom
Related Studies: Available to Download in PDF or PPTX Format
Waste Management in the U.S.
Waste Management in the U.S.

All Information
in one Presentation

Waste Management in the U.S.

Everything On "Waste Management in the U.S." in One Document: Edited and Divided into Handy Chapters. Including Detailed References.

I think of Statista as Google for researchers. Statista provides you with the information you search for right away.
Dr. Horst Stipp

Dr. Horst Stipp
EVP, Research & Innovation, Advertising Research Foundation

Statistics on "Municipal Solid Waste in the U.S."
  • Waste generation
  • Waste material recovery
  • Waste recovery processes and types
  • Waste industry and companies
Discover Statista
Need help with using Statista for your research? Tutorials and first steps
Further Content: Statistics, Studies, and Topic Pages
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.
Do you have any questions about our business solutions?

We provide you with detailed information about our Corporate Account.