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Milwaukee Recycling Benefits and Relevant Statistics

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The Important Benefits of Recycling in Milwaukee

Recycling in Milwaukee fulfills several major goals:

  • Reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills
  • Reduce the need for harvesting and manufacturing new resources thanks to materials obtained using recycled content, which helps:
    • Preserve more natural habitats that would be destroyed by logging or mining
    • Reduce pollution and greenhouse gases that could potentially contribute to climate change
  • Sustains environment for future generations
  • Reduce costs for manufacturing businesses
  • Create jobs in waste recycling and recycled materials manufacturing
  • Contribute to municipal budgets by selling recycled materials

Source: EPA

Some Facts About Recycling

U.S. Recycling Statistics

Source: EPA

  • In 2013, the Americans generated 245 million tons of waste but recycled and composted around 87 million tons of it
  • This ratio corresponds to about a 34.3 percent recycling rate
  • For every person in America, an average of 1.51 pounds were recycled from 4.40 pounds of waste generated per day
  • Newspapers and other unglossed print had a recovery rate of 67 percent, equaling 5.4 million tons
  • Paper and paperboard waste constitute around 27 percent of the materials municipal solid waste (MSW) departments handle
  • Owing to the 87.2 million tons of recyclable waste that did not end in landfills, 186 metric tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide were averted. This reduction is the equivalent of removing 39 million vehicles off the road for an entire year.

Milwaukee Recycling Statistics

Source: Milwaukee Recycles

  • Every year, Milwaukee residents recycle over 50 million pounds of potential waste using the city’s curbside program
  • Through a combination of saving money on landfill disposal fees and the sale of recycled raw materials, Milwaukee recycling places about $1.5 million per year back into the city budget. The city uses this revenue to:
    • Provide services
    • Reduce property taxes
    • Fund environmental initiatives
  • According to the Milwaukee Recycles 2014 Report:
    • Recycling over the past five-year period has increased by 14 percent according to tonnage and 20 percent according to the average pounds per household
    • In all, 25,273 tons were collected from residential curbside programs last year
    • The city directly avoided over $1 million in landfill costs while earning $1.67 million in revenue
    • The total landfill diversion rate was 24.9 percent
    • Over 2.4 million pounds in electronics were collected at Milwaukee’s Self-Help recycling centers

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