• 04.10.09

The Top 25 Least Wasteful U.S. Cities

digg_url = ‘//’; digg_skin = ‘compact’; Do you spend your days traipsing around San Francisco? Then congratulations, you live in America’s least wasteful city according to a study conducted by Nalgene. The water bottle company questioned 3,750 people in America’s 25 …

The Top 25 Least Wasteful U.S. Cities
San Francisco

San Franciscans topped Nalgene’s list thanks to widespread habits of recycling, turning off the water while brushing teeth, and only using cars for short trips. 86% of San Franciscans also reported that they live an “extremely” or “somewhat” eco-friendly lifestyle, though the definition of an eco-friendly lifestyle is not made clear in the study.


Atlanta came in at the other end of the spectrum, with residents ranking the worst at recycling, throwing out less than two bags of trash a week, using reusable containers, participating in sustainability programs, using energy-efficient lightbulbs, and borrowing books from the library.

Nalgene, of course, had its own motivation for conducting the study. The company recently came under fire for using Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogen-like chemical, in its water bottles. Nalgene did eventually pull BPA-filled water bottles from the shelves, but the wastefulness study could be the company’s attempt to get back in the good graces of eco-minded consumers.

The full list of America’s least wasteful cities is below.

Rank City Weighted Score
1 San Francisco, CA 1025.45
2 New York City, NY 1004.01
3 Portland, OR 1001.66
4 Seattle, WA 985.03
5 Los Angeles, CA 960.46
6 Denver, CO 943.77
7 Minneapolis, MN 943.17
8 Washington, D.C. 941.81
9 Boston, MA 941.29
10 Philadelphia, PA 932.59
11 Chicago, IL 931.03
12 Baltimore, MD 927.26
13 Detroit, MI 911.59
14 Pittsburgh, PA 909.42
15 Orlando, FL 901.71
16 Cleveland, OH 900.77
17 Sacramento, CA 899.78
18 Miami, FL 898.49
19 Tampa, FL 896.01
20 Phoenix, AZ 887.48
21 St. Louis, MO 883.38
22 Houston, TX 879.16
23 Indianapolis, IN 872.75
24 Dallas, TX 860.60
25 Atlanta, GA 857.51


Related: The Real Story Behind Bisphenol A

[Via ALWC]

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.