Americans like stuff: We buy it, sell it, and horde it. We have so much stuff that many of us have to rent storage space outside the home.
The Self Storage Association says in 2007 one in ten U.S. households rented a storage unit. That's up from one in 17 households in 2005. The association says gross revenue of the industry tops $20 billion -- that's $9.16 per rentable square foot. When one tires of their stuff, it may eventually end up in a landfill.
The Iowa Journal visits with a Johnston woman who "shops" curbside during neighborhood Spring clean-ups for items she can use or sell. The program also visits landfills in Mitchellville and Cedar Rapids to see how our garbage is processed. Another stop was at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, where the aviation electronics firm has won awards for its efforts to reduce its landfill waste.
In the studio to talk trash and recycling efforts are: Tom Hadden, Executive Director, Metro Waste Authority in Mitchellville and Tom Gentner, Director of Environment, Safety and Health for Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids. (27:47)