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What is Municipal Solid Waste? And How You Can Help Reduce It?

At General Kinematics, we understand that creating a brighter future means providing products that make life better. That’s why we’re proud to help municipal solid waste programs around the world with our innovative equipment and services.

Municipal waste programs are the foundation of any civilized society — but how much time have you spent considering the role that municipal waste plays in our daily lives? What is municipal solid waste? Where does it go? And why is it important to keep in mind everyday?

What Is Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)?

To answer the question “what is municipal solid waste?” in one word is simple: trash. From the food wrappers you toss away to the batteries you carefully discard. Municipal solid waste is everything that ends up in a garbage bin.

Typically, waste ends up in one of three places: a landfill, a recycling plant, or a compost pile. The destination all depends on how the waste is sorted. The machinery used to sort the waste must be of the highest quality to ensure that everything from leftover food to discarded concrete is sorted and disposed of properly. That’s why MSW systems around the world rely on General Kinematics to help keep the heart of their operations processing material effectively.

Facts About Municipal Waste in the U.S.

In the United States, MSW is a force unlike anywhere else in the world.

– The average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash every day – which is down from approximately 4.7 pounds in 2006.

– More than 700,000 tons of MSW is created daily. In 2014, that amounted to 258 million tons of garbage.

– The United States also manages to recycle 1.5 pounds of individually created waste each day.

– The average recycling rate in the U.S. is approximately 33-35 percent.

Given how much garbage we generate, it’s extremely important to ensure that we’re doing all we can as individuals to decrease the amount of garbage we produce on a daily basis.

Ways to Minimize Your Personal Garbage Production

If you’re thinking about ways to reduce your daily garbage production, here are some simple tips to keep in mind.

– Take reusable bags to the grocery store to avoid using their wasteful paper or plastic options.

– Avoid individually wrapped items at the store.

– Consider composting your scraps and food waste rather than throwing it away.

– Believe it or not, shopping at secondhand stores is a great way to reduce your creation of new garbage.

– When possible, buy items packaged in recyclable materials.

On a company level or larger scale, consider some of these ideas for reducing your waste production:

– Reduce the amount of packaging for products.

– Eliminate the use of water bottles within your facility.

– Consider going paperless

– Start a company-wide recycling program that includes composting.  

It’s just a matter of getting in the habit of mindfulness to transform yourself into an active supporter of a healthy environmental future. To learn more about MSW and the innovative solutions offered by General Kinematics, contact us today!

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