Americans threw away 250 million tons of trash on 2010, of which about a third was recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That's a big jump from 1970, when we recycled only 6 percent of our trash. Then again, we only generated 3.25 pounds of waste per person per day back day.'
Recycling activities generated $715 million in revenues for US companies in 2010 – an increase of 26 percent from 2009. Toxic-waste disposal is even bigger: $1.6 billion, with revenues jumping a whopping 36 percent from 2009. Asbestos abatement topped them both: $2.5 billion in revenues, an increase of 22.8 percent from 2009.