The US is the world's number one waste producer, but it is ranked only 18th
in the league table of the world's top recyclers, with 35% of materials
The main cause of this problem is the absence of national directives obliging
the various states and their cities to work towards reusing materials. The
interest in recycling and the effectiveness of the systems put in place vary
enormously from place to place.
For example, Oklahoma City and Indianapolis recycle less than 4% of their
waste, while a city like San Francisco processes almost everything, and really
does set a recycling example for the rest of the world to emulate. At the very
heart of the bay, in a 20,000 sq m warehouse on Pier 96, sits the largest
professional recycling centre in the world.
Farther north, in Canada, its rate of 27% recycled materials is the result of
the same lack of legislative consistency regarding waste treatment.