Roughly 1.5 pounds of that is composted or recycled, meaning the U.S. avoids sending just 34 percent of its waste to landfills, according to the EPA.
San Francisco provides a much different narrative.
Thanks to bold public policy and educational initiatives, the city diverts about 80 percent of its waste from landfills, or more than 1.5 million tons every year.
Ultimately, San Francisco aims to reach zero waste.
That means recycling, composting, reusing, and reducing consumption so that nothing goes to either the landfill or incineration.
But even if it doesn’t, San Francisco is already way ahead of other cities.
For example, New York only diverts about 21 percent of its waste and Chicago is at about 10 percent. »