The typical American throws away about 590 kg. of garbage a year. For the nation as a whole, this (16) 160 million tons of waste a year, or enough to make a chain of 10-ton garbage trucks halfway to the moon. In the early 1990s, Japan recycled about 50% of its trash; the U.S. only about 10%, (17) estimates of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In modern recycling plants, (18) can handle the metals and the glass, but people must separate the plastic by hand, so when people put out the garbage, they must separate the recyclable (19) the non-recyclable materials. Recycling is not a new idea. In emergencies like droughts and wars, people have recycled all kinds of materials and have b..