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Biology Graphs: Waste in the United States

 
This graph displays the breakdown of municipal solid waste produced in the United States per year. Each color represents a different material, and each material is more prevalent as you read from bottom to top. Notice how each material, despite its placement on the graph, has increased from 1960 to 1995.
 
United States Solid Waste
(percentages by weight)
United States Municipal Solid Waste
 
 
The first pie chart breaks down the percentages by weight of each type of waste that makes up the total amount of solid waste in the United States. The second pie chart breaks down the percentages by weight of municipal solid waste (a component of the first pie chart).

Question Group #1
Directions and/or Common Information: The following questions will reference the line graph at the top of this page.


According to the top line graph, which type of waste is more prevalent, food or glass?
1. 





Although there have been several slight drops for each material over the years, there is one year in which the drop was evident in all 7 types of waste.  In which year did this occur?
2. 





In general, the amount of each type of waste has more than doubled since 1960.  Why do you suppose there has been such a rapid increase in only about 45 years?
3. 




Question Group #2
Directions and/or Common Information: The following questions will reference the two pie charts at the top of the page.


What percent of the country's waste is hazardous?
1. 





Which of the following is a more prevalent form of waste, manufacturing waste or mining waste?
2. 





The second pie chart represents one slice of the first pie chart.  Which slice do you suppose this is and what percent of total waste does it make up?
3. 





Read the titles of each slice in the second pie chart.  Based on what these slices represent, what do you suppose would be a more common description for municipal solid waste?
4. 





What item makes up the largest portion of municipal solid waste?  Which makes up the smallest portion?
5. 








C Roach

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