Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program

2013 TRI National Analysis: Pollution Prevention and Waste Management

Section 2: Waste Management by Industry Sector

Trend in Waste Managed by Industry Sector


This figure shows the seven industry sectors with the most reported waste managed in 2013. The contribution of each of the top sectors to production-related waste managed has not changed considerably between 2003 and 2013. For example, the top two sectors by total waste managed in 2013 (chemicals and primary metals) reported over half of waste managed in both 2003 and 2013.

Most industry sectors reported a decline in production-related waste managed from 2003 to 2013 resulting in an overall decrease of 4%. Of the seven sectors shown in the figure, only two increased their quantity of waste managed since 2003 (metal mining and food/beverages/tobacco).

In the past year, however, four of the seven sectors shown in the figure have increased their waste managed. Sectors with the greatest increases in wastes from 2012 to 2013 were:

  • Chemical manufacturing, which increased by 856 million pounds (+9% from 2012)
  • Metal mining, which increased by 332 million pounds (+22%)
  • Electric utilities, which increased by 109 million pounds (+7%), and
  • Food/beverages/tobacco, which increased by 98 million pounds (+7%).

Generated waste in some industries fluctuates considerably from year to year, due to changes in production or other factors (e.g., reporting in the mining sector can change significantly based on changes in the composition of waste rock).

This page was published in January 2015 and uses the 2013 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2014.