【Do you know how Americans handle and classify garbage?】

With the increase of the Earth’s population and the improvement of human living standards,
The ability to create human waste is also greatly improved.
Garbage disposal is undoubtedly an extremely important thing in social life.
The standard of living in the United States is high, but with the growing amount of household waste, how we deal with it becomes a crucial issue.
Scroll down and we will sort out how Americans handle and classify garbage! ! !

Let’s start with the disposal of household garbage in the United States. Generally speaking, in most residential areas of United States, there is no place for them to throw their household garbage. The community or individual will sign a contract and pay monthly fees with the garbage company, so they will collect the garbage every week. In some communities, household garbage is collected once a week, and recyclable garbage is collected on another day, such as paper, cans, glass bottles, milk barrels, and so on. The government encourages everyone to separate the recyclable waste and send it to a special garbage can, and the garbage can for household garbage needs to be purchased personally or provided by the contract with the garbage company.

Plants such as leaves, flowers, etc. are not included in household waste and recyclable garbage cans. Every household in the United States has a yard; the cut grass from your yard is collected as “garden garbage.” If there are trees in the yard, the autumn leaves are also called as “garden garbage.” To throw away this garbage, you usually need to pay another amount.

Where did the collected garbage go?

The garbage truck collects the garbage and processes it. Useful things in the garbage, such as paper, plastic, glass, metal, etc., will be separated for recycling. The burnt part of the remaining will be sent to the waste incineration center for combustion, which can heat nearby residents or factories. The last ones will be compressed and sent to landfills for burial.

Waste electrical appliances, more trouble than garbage

The garbage mentioned above does not include used electrical appliances. Waste electrical appliances, such as computers, printers, mobile phones, televisions, refrigerators, DVD/VCDs, VCRs, etc., are called “electronic waste.” Waste electrical appliances may contain more heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, as well as toxic plastics, flame retardants, and the slowly release toxic components in nature. According to some sources, the amount of e-waste discarded by the United States accounts for only 2% of the total amount of waste, but the toxic substances release account for 70% of the total amount of toxic substances.

Because e-waste is extremely harmful to the environment, Europe has banned the disposal of buried e-waste in the 1990s. The laws of the US states are different, and generally require recycling. In the contract between residents and garbage disposal companies, e-waste is generally not included. In other words, you can’t put unused TV sets, refrigerators, etc. into the garbage can. Some contracts will promise to accept several kinds of used electrical appliances every year, while others will require them to pay for it.

Detailed classification of garbage

Generally, there are three green, blue and gray garbage cans in front of each house, which represent:

  • Green – Garbage
  • Blue – Recycling
  • Grey – Food & Yard Waste


Included content:

  • Non-recyclable plastic: food packaging containers, Styrofoam (foam), bottle cap, plastic film, empty petrol bottle, plastic plate or other plastic tableware, empty prescription bottles, water pipes.
  • Non-recyclable paper: diapers, ribbons, dirty paper, facial tissues, hard books, etc.
  • Non-recyclable glass: mirror, window glass, pottery, Incandescent & halogen light bulbs only (Fluorescent light bulbs and tubes need special disposal)。
  • Non-recyclable metals: caps, oil drums (with cover removed), sharp metal such as scissors, hangers, broken gadgets (hair dryers, coffee makers, humidifiers, etc.).


Included content:

  • Clean Paper & Newspaper: Includes newspapers, letters, envelopes, paperback books (as far as hardcover books, Hardcover books are counted in Garbage), magazines, phone books, wrapping paper, frozen food boxes, ice-blocking boxes , soft drink box (without straw), paper cup (without lid), paper box for milk.
  • Cardboard:Arrange requirements
  • Glass Jars & Bottles: The requirements are empty and rinsed. The logo on the jar or bottle can be removed without a cover.
  • Cans and Foil (foil, mainly using aluminum foil for some baking pans, etc.).
  • Plastic bottles, jugs, cups, tubs & bags: requirements are empty and rinsed no lid or straw.
  • Scrap Metal: Metal items that are less than 2ft. long and 35 pounds. There must be no wood, plastic or rubber accessories, sharp or greasy metal which is not acceptable.

Food & Yard Waste

Included content:

  • Food residue (no plastic, glass, metal products, and diapers or pet droppings), fruit and vegetable residues, leftovers, bread, hollow powder, cereals, egg shells, nutshell meat, fish, poultry, beans, dairy products (yoghurt, cheese, etc.) paper contaminated with food, greasy pizza boxes, coffee filter paper and tea bags, paper towels and napkins contaminated with food, shredded paper, paper containing food residues, paper bags Egg and fruit containers on waxed paper and box surface with glossy paper and paper bags for home plants (excluding flower pots), branches (less than 4 feet), festive trees (including Halloween lanterns), weeds, twigs , leaves, cut grass, leaves, degradable bowls, cups, plates, and food packaging containers.