Answer: Since 1980, annual generation of household waste has increased more than 50%. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces almost 4.5 pounds of garbage a day, or a about 29 pounds per week which equal 1,600 pounds year. This does not include industrial waste or commercial trash. Most of us can reduce the amount we put into the waste stream by thinking about how we purchase and how we choose what to put into the trash.
How Can I Make a Difference?
You can do your part to reduce the amount of household waste in your house several ways:
- Start by reducing purchases and extending the life of functional items.
- Avoid products with excessive or non-recyclable packaging.
- Look for items made from material that can be easily recycled.
- Once you have decided to replace an item, see if it can be reused by someone else to extend its useful life. Consider donating the items to a charitable organization.
- If the item cannot be reused, recycle it wherever feasible. Many local refuse companies can pick up recyclable items or take it to the Downtown Recycling Center.
- Look for new uses of old or unused items. For instance, make grocery bags or diapers from old t-shirts.
- Once you followed the steps above ( reduce, reuse and recycle, renew), then you can feel comfortable putting refuse in the trash.
Information summarized from “The Earth Friendly House Knowledge Cards” published by Pomegranate Communications, Inc.