Food waste and other organic material made up nearly a third of what Minnesotans sent to landfills in 2012, according to a new study state officials released Monday, writes MPR News reporter Elizabeth Dunbar.
The Waste Composition Report, released by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, found that organics accounted for 31 percent of the waste stream; 25 percent of the waste stream was paper and 18 percent was plastic. A category called “other wastes,” which includes things like furniture, appliances and carpet, also accounted for 18 percent, and metal, glass and electronics were in the single digits.
The last time the MPCA conducted such a study was in 2000. Since then, plastic has made up a bigger part of the waste stream, but the percentage of paper being thrown away has decreased, likely because there are fewer newspapers, the study concluded. Food waste increased from 26 percent to 31 percent.
MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine called the report a “wake-up call,” pointing to the large amount of recyclable material being thrown away.
Today’s Question: How much of your trash gets recycled?