When it comes to making trash, we are Number One.
Americans produce more trash, by far, than any other people on earth. The average American produces 29% more trash than the average person in Europe or Japan, for example.
According to the EPA, in 2007 Americans produced, on average, 4.6 pounds of trash per day. In a year, the average American generates 1,679 pounds of garbage. A family of four produces about 6,700 pounds of trash every year, which is more than the weight of a Chevy Suburban. The amount of trash generated by the average American is 73% more today than it was in 1960.
Of course all that trash has to go somewhere, so landfills are big business. 25% of all the trash generated in America ends up crossing state lines. Unfortunately, a lot of trash from other places ends up buried in the soil of Virginia. Of the nearly 16 million tons of trash buried in Virginia in 2007, 35% of it was imported from other states.
You can read more about our trade in trash and garbage HERE.
This is all unsustainable of course. We can’t go on indefinitely cranking out a couple thousand pounds of garbage each year for every man, woman and child in America. It will have to stop eventually, so why not now?
Consume less. Recycle.