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How to Destroy the Planet

By Tom Randall and Eric Roston - 2013-05-22T16:13:09Z

Photograph by Don Smetzer

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What dazed envirophobe hasn’t looked at recycling bins and thought, it’s so difficult to tell the difference between garbage and the useless stuff that I want to keep forever. How can I possibly be expected to separate garbage into smaller categories? 

Americans are getting less lazy, apparently. They produced 21 percent more garbage in 2010 than they did in 1980 -- 4.43 pounds per person per day. But they're also recycling more. Just 54 percent of solid waste reached landfills in 2010, compared with 89 percent in 1980.

Read more energy & sustainability news.