Pollution and Wastes

How does the per capita solid waste generation in the United States compare to other countries?

The reliance on nondurable goods and excess packaging suggests that the United States is a throw-away society. One of the differences in the per capita amount of garbage generated throughout the world is due to the cost of waste disposal. Among the developed nations, people have the incentive to waste less when disposal is more expensive. Developing nations generally consume less and consequently generate less waste.

Country Per capita waste generation (pounds per day) Per capita waste generation (kilograms per day)
United States 2.0 4.5
Canada 1.7 3.75
Netherlands 1.4 3.0
Japan 1.1 2.4
Germany 0.9 2.0
Sweden 0.9 2.0


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