Notice how in the first chart “Food” makes up a significant percentage along with “Paper and Paperboard”, “Yard Trimmings” and “Plastics”.
Total MSW Generated By Material 2017
Total MSW Landfill By Material 2017
The second chart shows the positive impacts of recycling and composting in some of the categories. Notice how while “Yard Trimmings” is close to “Food” in total generation, it is considerably less in total amount landfilled. This is because the majority of the composting programs in the United States today only accept yard waste, and do not accept food waste. Also notice how “Food” and “Plastics” both increase as a percentage of total material landilled once the data is adjusted for recycling and composting. This shows how infrequently (on a relative basis) “Food” is getting composted and “Plastics” are getting recycled.