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Amount of trash in landfills is tossed is down 11 percent

Trash is swept into the trailer of a semi at Waste Disposal, LLC, a transfer station at 5550 W 55th Street South.
Trash is swept into the trailer of a semi at Waste Disposal, LLC, a transfer station at 5550 W 55th Street South. The Wichita Eagle

The weak economy may have one upside: Less trash going into a landfill. Sedgwick County is throwing away 11 percent less trash than three years ago, environmental resources director Susan Erlenwein told county commissioners Wednesday.

That doesn't necessarily mean people are recycling more, she said. It's because we're making fewer purchases because of the economy. Fewer purchases equals less stuff to throw away.

The amount of trash being thrown away has dropped from 5.4 pounds per person per day three years ago to 4.76 pounds now.

Cardboard is what businesses throw away the most; grass clippings are what residents throw away the most, she said. She encouraged people to mulch mow their yards, which is more environmentally friendly and can be good for yards.

Of stuff thrown away, paper makes up 29.2 percent, yard waste 17.1 percent, plastic 14.3 percent, food waste 9.8 percent, construction and demolition materials 8 percent, textiles/rubber/leather, 6 percent; metal 3.4 percent, glass 2.7 percent, other, 9.5 percent.

The number of households recycling is up slightly.

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