WASTE PRODUCTION FACTS

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  • In the U.S., 4.39 pounds of trash per day and up to 56 tons of trash per year are created by the average person.
  • Only about one-tenth of all solid garbage in the United States gets recycled.
  • Every year we fill enough garbage trucks to form a line that would stretch from the earth, halfway to the moon.
  • Each day the United States throws away enough trash to fill 63,000 garbage trucks.
  • Almost 1/3 of the waste generated the U.S. is packaging.
  • Diapers: An average child will use between 8,000 -10,000 disposable diapers ($2,000 worth) before being potty trained. Each year, parents and babysitters dispose of about 18 billion of these items. In the United States alone these single-use items consume nearly 100,000 tons of plastic and 800,000 tons of tree pulp. We will pay an average of $350 million annually to deal with their disposal and, to top it off, these diapers will still be in the landfill 300 years from now. Americans throw away 570 diapers per second. That’s 49 million diapers per day.
  • Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
  • Every year, Americans make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the state of Texas.
  • The amount of glass bottles Americans throw away every two weeks would have filled both World Trade Center towers.
  • Americans throw away enough aluminum cans to rebuild our commercial air fleet every three months, and enough iron and steel to supply all our nation’s automakers every day.
  • Throwing away one aluminum can wastes as much energy as if that can were 1/2 full of gasoline.
  • In the U.S., an additional 5 million tons of waste is generated during the holidays. Four million tons of this is wrapping paper and shopping bags.
  • Americans receive almost 4 million tons of junk mail every year. Most of it winds up in landfills.
  • The average American uses 650 pounds of paper a year.
  • Each year, Americans trash enough office paper to build a 12-foot wall from Los Angeles to New York City.
  • Americans toss out enough paper & plastic cups, forks and spoons every year to circle the equator 300 times.
  • The average American office worker goes through around 500 disposable cups every year.
  • Nearly 44 million American workers purchase or eat lunch out every weekday.
  • Americans make nearly 400 billion photocopies a year – about 750,000 copies every minute of every day.
  • U.S. fax machines sent 30 billion faxes in 1990.
  • U.S. businesses now use about 21 million tons of paper every year. That’s about 175 pounds of paper for each American.
  • Enough hazardous waste is generated in one year to fill the New Orleans Superdome 1,500 times over.
  • New York City alone throws out enough garbage each day to fill the Empire State Building.
  • In one day, Americans get rid of 20,000 cars and 4,000 trucks and buses.
  • As of 1992, 14 billion pounds of trash were dumped into ocean annually around the world.
  • Forty-three thousand tons of food is thrown out in the United States each day.
  • Americans throw out about 270 million tires every year.
  • Sixty-five billion aluminum soda cans are used each year.

 

Disclaimer: Only reputable sources were used to compile this list of facts and figures. Northern Colorado Disposal Inc. cannot verify the accuracy or scientific validity of these statistics.