- The US produces 250 million tons of trash per year, and the trash industry is a $52 billion per year industry in the US alone.
- New York City produces 22 million pounds of trash a day, and 4.2 million pounds of recyclables a day.
- The New York City Sanitation Department uses 1,500 trash trucks, each costing approximately $250,000.
- The budget for the garbage section of the New York City Sanitation Department is $1.3 billion per year.
- New York's landfills are close to being full. Trash is therefore sent to sites in Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, and New Jersey. This trash is called "traveling trash."
- Apex Landfill outside of Las Vegas is the largest landfill in the US with a size of 2000 football fields. It earns $160,000 a day in "tipping fees," the cost for a dump truck to "tip" its load into the landfill.
- There are 2300 landfills in the US.
- China produces the most garbage in the world.
- Beijing produces 36 million pounds of trash per day.
- By 2014, all 10 of Beijing's landfills will be filled to capacity.
- There are more than 461 illegal landfills in Beijing.
- 80% of what Americans throw away is actually recyclable; only 28% is recycled.
- Americans use 51 billion plastic bottles per year, with only about 20% being recycled.
- There is approximately 7 billion pounds of trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
A man from Fox Township, PA was interviewed about the Veolia (a French company) landfill site that is literally a mountain. This man protested, many decades ago, against the issuing of permits to start the landfill in Fox Township. Now, Veolia pays the township $2.5 million per year to stay running in the township, half of the annual budget of the township. Veolia has tried on two occasions to dump low-level radioactive ash waste in the landfill. What was necessary to avoid this dumping was in his words, "constant vigilance."
Over the next few days, I will be highlighting issues of trash in China. the toxins produced when waste is incinerated, and plastics that have entered the food chain.