Startling Chart Reveals How Much Trash U.S. Residents Throw Away, State By State

The amount of garbage Americans toss into landfills, state by state is huge.

Credit: SaveOnEarth

Credit: SaveOnEarth


It’s mind-boggling to consider that of all the trash humans in the United States produce, only 30% is recycled. The rest of it is tossed in landfills, where the majority eventually makes its way to the oceans and swirls in garbage patches in the seas.

Someday, future generations will look back in disgust at these ‘dark ages’ and ask, ‘What were people thinking?’

When you look at the following chart, you’re likely to question the same thing. SaveOnEnergy is responsible for producing the informative report, Land of Waste: American Landfills and Waste Production, which details how much garbage residents in each state are responsible for tossing into landfills.

Perhaps as people take into account the role they play in environmental degradation, they’ll become inspired to improve their ways.

Credit: SaveOnEarth

Credit: SaveOnEarth

Following are some statistics which TreeHugger graciously relayed:

4.4 pounds: The amount of trash generated daily, on average, by every American. Packed in cubed feet it would be the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

254 million tons: The amount of trash that Americans generate in a year.

22 billion: Plastic bottles thrown out yearly.

12 feet: The height of a wall from Los Angeles to New York City that could be made from tossed office paper every year.

300: Laps around the equator that could be made in paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons disposed of annually.

2,000+: The number of active landfills in the country.

1,000s: The number of inactive landfills in the country.

38.4 tons: the amount of garbage per person in Las Vegas landfills.

10 tons, or less: The amount of landfill waste per person in Idaho, North Dakota, and Connecticut.

3.4 million tons: The amount of out-of-state waste taken by Ohio each year at the cost of $35 per ton.

32 percent: The amount of Ohio’s out-of-state trash that came from New York.

34.3 percent: The amount of garbage that Americans are now recycling yearly. Recycling and composting prevented 87.2 million tons of material from being disposed of in 2013, up from 15 million tons in 1980.

39 million: The number of cars taken off the road to hypothetically equal the 186 million metric tons of carbon dioxide not released thanks to annual recycling.

What are your thoughts on this sobering report? Please comment below and share this news!


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