Nalgene Ranks the Most and Least Wasteful Cities in America

San Francisco


It’s time once again for Nalgene’s annual ranking of America’s most and least wasteful cities, a list based on a survey that measures waste, sustainability efforts, shopping habits,
transportation, and reuse of items among 3,750 people in cities around the country. The results are graded based on answers to 23 questions
that gauge wasteful or non-wasteful behaviors and actions.

Again, San Francisco came in first thanks to residents that ranked the highest in categories including public
transportation, using rain barrels, limiting car trips, using reusable bags and
tinfoil, and participating in citywide sustainability programs. Houston moved down the list from #22 in 2009 to dead last this year because of residents that throw out lots of trash, buy bottled water, and ignore the city’s sustainability efforts. Overall, citygoers think that the U.S has a long way to go in the sustainability department–72% of respondents gave the country a “C” for environmental commitment. Below, take a look at the full rankings.

Rank City Weighted Score
1 San Francisco, CA 1382.92
2 Seattle, WA 1359.43
3 New York, NY 1350.74
4 Portland, OR 1293.82
5 Boston, MA 1286.84
6 Philadelphia, PA 1258.81
7 Minneapolis, MN 1232.41
8 Los Angeles, CA 1218.26
9 Washington DC 1206.92
10 Pittsburgh, PA 1205.41
11 Sacramento, CA 1202.78
12 Phoenix, AZ 1199.99
13 Chicago, IL 1193.90
14 Dallas, TX 1186.91
15 Orlando, FL 1180.68
16 Baltimore, MD 1180.47
17 Denver, CO 1180.05
18 Detroit, MI 1173.19
19 St. Louis, MO 1162.03
20 Miami, FL 1149.85
21 Indianapolis, IN 1147.30
22 Tampa, FL 1125.07
23 Atlanta, GA 1115.63
24 Cleveland, OH 1104.99
25 Houston, TX 1094.95



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