IELTS graph 307 - Waste recycling rates in the US

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1/ Graph Writing - Line Graph:

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The graph below shows waste recycling rates in the U.S. from 1960 to 2011.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

You should write at least 150 words.

National Recycling Rates, US, 1960 to 2011

Waste recycling rates in the U.S. from 1960 to 2011

Model Answer:

The line chart outlines how much waste was recovered and recycled in the US between 1960 and 2011. The garbage recovery is presented in million tons while the recycling is presented in percentages.

Generally speaking, both waste recovery and recycling in the US after 1985 increased remarkably despite the fact that a big proportion of litter remained unrecycled.

As the data suggests, 5.6 million tons of rubbish was recovered in the USA in 1960 and just 6.4% was recycled this year. Recycling in 1965 slightly declined but increased in 1970 when 6.6% of waste recycling took place out of 8 tons. In 1980, more than 14 million tons of garbage were collected and almost 10% was recycled. The recycling rate further developed by almost 2% after 5 years. After a decade, 16% of total waste was recycled and this ratio after that increased steadily and sharply and so did the waste recovery.

Almost one-third of the surplus was recycled in 2005 when waste recovery was nearly 80 million tons, about 8 times higher than that of 25 years earlier. A thorough observation indicates that a great percentage of scrap in the US is not recycled during this time. For instance, out of 80 million tons, only about 32% of waste recycling figure in the US shows that another 50 million tons were not recycled. Finally, in 2011, more than one-third of rubbish was recycled which accounted for around 30 million tons of waste produced in the USA while the remaining 60 million tons were not recycled.

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Ruhi Denis Kruze
In this graph description, waste recovery is confused with waste recycling when both of the terms have very different meanings.