A closer look at recycling and composting, according to the EPA.
A styrofoam take-out container is viewed in a trash can on December 19, 2013 in New York City. Nationally, Americans recycled and composted almost 87 million tons of municipal solid waste(trash) in 2012, according to the EPA.
"It takes a lot of effort to put a tire together...so to throw it away in a landfill is a waste of raw materials," said John Sheerin, Environmental Director with Bridgestone Retail Operations. In 2013, they recovered more than 10 million spent tires.
Food scraps in a compost bin at The Slanted Door restaurant on Dec. 10, 2010 in San Francisco. According to the EPA, waste generation suggests a shift: in 2012, the per capita generation(4.38lbs/person/day) were the lowest levels since the 1980s.
Sorted mixed paper moves down a conveyor belt at the Norcal Waste recycling facility July 11, 2003 in San Francisco. Every ton of mixed paper recycled can save the energy equivalent of 165 gallons of gasoline,according to the EPA.