5 Unbelievable Waste Management Facts That Will Make You Think Differently About Your Trash

waste management facts

The average person in the United States generates about five pounds of waste per day. That’s almost 268 million U.S. short tons per year!

That’s a lot of garbage!

All you do is leave your trash can at the curb. Do you wonder what happens to all that trash after someone else takes it away?

Read on for 5 unbelievable waste management facts

1. Food Waste

Developed countries waste a lot of food. In the U.S., about $160 billion dollars of food is tossed each year because it doesn’t meet cosmetic standards of perfection.

In the U.K., as much as 16% of the food that’s grown gets rejected by buyers each year. In most cases, the buyer is a supermarket. 

There’s nothing critically wrong with all this wasted food. The only reason for rejection? The fruits or veggies didn’t look pretty enough. 

To fight world hunger, we need to stop wasting food, especially good food that only has cosmetic imperfections. 

2. Plastic Bottles

Every hour Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles! That’s 60 million plastic bottles in a 24-hour period. 

Less than 10% of plastic gets recycled. One study revealed that up to 12 million metric tons of plastic finds its way into the ocean each year, harming precious sea life. 

How long does it take a plastic water bottle to decompose? Over 500 years!

Waste, and litter in general, in major cities is a huge problem. One waste management company tackling the issue offers smart waste solutions. 

3. Glass Waste

Talk about taking a long time to decompose – glass bottles take about 4,000 years. Glass never loses its purity or quality no matter how many times it’s recycled. 

About 80% of all glass that goes for recycling gets melted down and reused in new glass containers. 

4. Paper Waste

When was the last time you used a paper cup for coffee? If it was today, you’re not alone. On average, most office workers use about 500 disposable cups per year!

That’s an easy problem to fix. Bring a reusable cup to work and stop throwing away paper coffee cups. 

A run of the Sunday newspaper from one company uses about 75,000 trees! Most Americans use about seven trees worth of paper each year. 

You think you hate junk mail? So does Mother Nature! If you’re like most Americans, you threw away over 13,000 pieces of paper in the form of packaging and junk mail last year.

American holidays are especially hard on the environment. Christmas generates an extra 5 million tons of paper waste a year. 

5. Aluminum Waste

Americans use a lot of aluminum cans – about 65 billion a year in soda cans alone. The good news? Due to recycling, the cans make up less than 1% of waste. 

Some Unbelievable Waste Management Facts

It’s hard swallowing some of these waste management facts. We produce tons of waste each day, much of it unnecessary. 

Food waste is especially frustrating because there’s no reason not to eat food simply because it doesn’t look pretty. We could feed a lot of hungry people with “ugly” food. 

Plastic, glass, paper, and aluminum are all ripe for recycling. Do your best to sort your trash and recycle as much as you can. 

Avoid disposable containers and opt for reusable instead. 

Do you like reading interesting facts? Keep reading our blog!

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