Garbage: itâ€™s dirty, smelly andÂ pretty disgusting. But someoneâ€™s got to take care of the 250 million tons of it that Americans produce each year, at a cost of billions of dollars to collect, dispose and recycle. And speaking of recycling, we are doing far from an excellent job at it, recycling only 24% of our waste, when we could be recycling more than three times as much. For those and other interesting facts about garbage production, collection and disposal in the United States, see our infographic. You may reconsider throwing that plastic water bottle in the trash â€“ or buying it in the first place.