Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste
The Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) report describes the national waste stream. It includes data on waste generation, recycling, and disposal as well as data on per capita generation and discard rates. Information is also presented on materials (e.g., paper, glass, metals, plastic) that comprise MSW and products found in the waste stream (e.g., durable goods, containers, packaging). Aggregate data on the infrastructure for MSW management, such as the number of curbside recycling programs and landfills are also included.
For information on the methods used to characterize MSW, see Methodology for MSW Characterization Numbers. (Available at: https://archive.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/web/pdf/06numbers.pdf.) For information on the estimation of recycling benefits see Methodology for Estimating MSW Recycling Benefits. (Available at: https://archive.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/web/pdf/06benefits.pdf.)