Too Much Trash: Reducing Solid Wasteach year, Americans generate millions of tons of trash in the form of wrappings, bottles, boxes, cans, grass clippings, furniture, clothing, phone books, and much, much, more. (See the General Overview of What's in America's Trash).
Durable goods (tires, appliances, furniture) and nondurable goods (paper, certain disposable products, clothing) account for several million tons of the solid waste stream. Container and packaging waste is a significant component of the nation's waste stream as well. This material includes glass, aluminum, plastics, steel and other metals, and paper and paperboard. Yard trimmings such as grass clippings and tree limbs are also a substantial part of what we throw away. In addition, many relatively small components of the national solid waste stream add up to millions of tons. For example, one percent of the nation's waste stream can amount to about two million tons of trash each year.