Stop the Waste Crisis in Louisiana

Target: Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards

Goal: Improve statewide recycling in Louisiana, which has the least effective recycling program of any U.S. state.

The U.S. state of Louisiana has one of the least-effective recycling programs in the U.S. This is particularly worrying given that some experts already deem the level of solid waste throughout the world to be at a “crisis” stage, with the problem only poised to grow worse in coming years. The onus here is mainly on the U.S.: The United States already generates more solid waste annually than any other country in the world—humanity generates a total of 1.3 billion tons of waste each year—with Americans creating 624,700 metric tons of trash a day. (These figures come from a 2o11 World Bank report. The problem has most certainly grown worse since then.)

Less than 35 percent of all waste in the United States is recycled, and least of all in Louisiana. In 2015, Waste360 reported that, “Overall, Louisiana is last in eco-friendly behavior and 47th in environmental quality” in comparison to all other U.S. states, listing it as the worst state for waste diversion and reduction.

Louisiana has few, if any waste-to-energy facilities and, while there are many fewer landfills in the state now than there were in the late 1980s, solid waste still poses a large problem to the environment of Louisiana, as well as its important fishing industry (Louisiana supplies most of the world’s crayfish; freshwater ecosystems are particularly susceptible to the effects of pollution and pollutant runoff.)

Urge Louisiana to do more to reign in its trash problem.


Dear Governor Edwards,

The reduction of landfills in your state since the 1980s is admirable. However, as of 2015, Louisiana remains the worst state in terms of eco-friendliness and waste diversion and reduction.

This poses a serious problem to both the people and ecosystem of your state: The United States overall generates more trash than any other country, and Lousiana, lacking a seriously effective recycling program, is susceptible to pollutant runoff into freshwater and marine ecosystems. We note this while acknowledging that fishing, whether for seafood or freshwater food sources, is a significant source of income for Louisiana.

Please urge policymakers in your state to increase recycling statewide.

Thank you.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Michael Maples

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  1. Good recycling programs should be increased in Louisiana.
    America as well as other countries need to look to Sweden. In Sweden, their recycling programs are so efficient that they have actually run out of garbage and have to import waste from other countries to keep their recycling programs running!


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