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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

A Rhetorical Analysis of “The US Remains the Most Wasteful Nation on Earth”

For my rhetorical analysis assignment, I have chosen Michael E. Kraft’s article “The US Remains the Most Wasteful Nation on Earth” in the 17 Dec. 2015 issue of the Tribune News Service, in this article Kraft, addresses to everyone in the world, mainly the adults, because they have an influence on the youth of the world. Kraft explains the issue that the US is not recycling enough, so bad that it is claimed the most wasteful nation. Throughout the text of his argument, he uses a lot of logos, examples, and reality.

At the beginning of Kraft’s article, he gives us some reality by explaining a statistic about how the US recycles, he says “Recycling jumped dramatically nationwide after the mid- 1980s, but it leveled off around 2010, with the average American recycling or composting 34 percent of his waste” (Kraft 1). In a way, it makes you think if you are part of the 34 percent of if you exceed his stat. either way it introduces a great opening statement that will grab a reader and wonder why this is, I would agree with him telling the world the reality of recycling.

Farther in his article he states an example, Kraft gives explains that “Seattle had a 50 percent recycling rate in 2014, and 71 percent for single-family households, and the rate continues to improve. The city has set a goal of eliminating the “maximum possible amount of waste.” Few other cities are so ambitious” (Kraft 2). He acknowledges that Seattle is doing great, but there are only a few places that have such ambition as Seattle. I would not agree with this statement, because I feel that you need to acknowledge more than one location that is trying to build a good recycling program.

At the end of his article he gives a goal that is realistic, and achievable, that he believes would help; he says “no one argues that the cost of recycling is unimportant. But there are ways to deal with that cost rather than declare it excessive and abandon recycling programs. We could follow the lead of the most innovative cities by putting a price on trash. If people pay more, they will find ways to generate less waste” (Kraft 2). I agree with Kraft on his solution, that we need to follow the lead of others who have built a recycling program that works and is efficient.

In conclusion, I support what Kraft is trying to do with making the US a cleaner place, I feel that he could have expressed at least one more area that is doing good or striving to become better in there recycling programs and to not only give Seattle the credit. But overall, I feel that he is stating a fact that is important and needs to be addressed, that the US is the most wasteful nation on the earth and that we need to be better at how we recycle.

Works Cited

Kraft, Michael E. “The US Remains the most Wasteful Nation on Earth.” McClatchy – Tribune News Service, 17 Dec 2015, pp. n/a, SIRS Issues Researcher,

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