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Re: [GreenYes] MSW vs total wastes
Dear Heidi:

Maybe this will help.  According to 1999 data from the EPA
(http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/facts.htm)
the U.S. generated 230 million tons of MSW (before recycling).  In addition,
the EPA estimates that about 7.6 billion tons of non-hazardous waste is
generated annually (http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/industd/index.htm.
It appears, at first blush, that the total annual generated MSW is indeed
about 3% of total industrial waste production.  But wait a moment, we need
to look at this issue a little more. According to the Introduction to the
Guide for Industrial Waste Management
(http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/industd/guide/index.htm),:

"About 7.6 billion tons of industrial solid waste are generated and managed
on-site at indus-trial
facilities each year. Almost 97 percent is wastewater managed in surface
impoundments;
the remainder is managed in landfills, waste piles, and land application
units. Most of these
wastewaters are treated and ultimately discharged into surface waters under
Clean Water Act
permits issued by EPA or state governments (National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System
or NPDES permits)."

My interpretation of the above statement is that about 3% of the total
non-hazardous industrial waste or 228 million tons, could be considered a
solid type waste.   Therefore it appears that the total size of the
industrial solid waste and municipal solid waste streams appear to be
comparable in terms of annual generated weight.

Roger M. Guttentag
610-584-8836
rgutten@concentric.net

----- Original Message -----
From: Heidi Swets <heidi@spectrum-industries.com>
To: <greenyes@grrn.org>
Sent: Friday, January 04, 2002 5:46 PM
Subject: [GreenYes] MSW vs total wastes


> A few years ago I read something which compared municipal solid waste to
> "all the waste generated in the U.S.", including mining and logging
> wastes,air pollution, water pollution, manufacturing wastes.  MSW was
> described as being just (approx.) 2% of that total waste amount.  The
point
> of the statement was to point out how relatively minimal the impact of
> recycling can be in conserving energy and materials, especially if our
> national recycling rate is somewhere around 26,27%.  The greater benefit,
> then would come upstream from recycling, at the extraction and
> manufacturing stages.
> I wonder if anyone can help me verify the accuracy of this 2% MSW figure.
> Is there a waste characterization study which lumps MSW with all these
> other waste categories?
> Heidi Swets
> Spectrum Recycling
> Decorah, Iowa
>
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