How Much Trash Does the Average American Produce?

During an average day, it’s easy to take for granted just how much stuff you throw away. Even if you do a good job of recycling in order to limit your waste, it’s still likely that you are using your garbage can on a regular basis, both at home and at work. Americans tend to produce an incredible amount of trash, all of which needs to be managed as it makes the journey from the home or office to a landfill or another final destination. Just how much trash does the average American produce? Let’s take a look.

Some Amazing Numbers

  • 254 million tons of waste
  • 4.4 pounds per person per day

Using some statistics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, we can get a good idea of just how much waste is produced annually in this country. The EPA uses a metric called Municipal Solid Waste to track trash that is disposed of throughout the year. As of 2013, the total generated across the nation was a staggering 254 million tons (roughly). Not all of that was ticketed for the landfill, however, as around 87 million tons were either recycled or composted.

To make those numbers a little more meaningful, it might help to break them down into per-person statistics. Based on the numbers above, the average American produces trash at a rate of 4.4 pounds per person per day, with roughly 1.51 pounds recycled per person per day.

As you go through your day today, take note of the things you throw out, and think about how much you are contributing to these numbers.

Making Strides

It’s inevitable that humans are going to produce waste throughout the course of day to day life. With that said, it seems certain that we can do a better job of reducing the amount of waste we create. We may also be able to change the type of waste so that it is less impactful on the environment. Even a modest reduction in waste could mean millions of tons of trash staying out of landfills.

So, what can be done? Here are some ways that can help to reduce the amount of trash we produce:

  • Be a more conscious consumer. When buying something, pay attention to how it is packaged to reduce unnecessary waste. Buying things with recyclable packaging, minimal packaging, or no packaging at all, is a great start.
  • Reduce your usage. Simply put, you probably don’t need to buy and use as many things as you do currently. That can be said of almost everyone in this country. Are there any items that produce waste you can cut out of your daily usage?
  • Don’t miss recycling opportunities. There are many different materials that can be recycled today, so be sure to check the labeling on everything you toss out to be sure it can’t wind up in the recycling instead of the garbage. While you’re at it, consider a beautiful recycling enclosure to keep your recycling in one secure place.

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Staying Ahead of the Pile

When life gets busy, it’s easy to have trash pile up in parts of your house. For instance, the trash can in your kitchen might be overflowing, so some other items may just wind up on the counter instead of in the bin. It can also get easy to just forget the recycling entirely. Pretty soon, you have a mess on your hands, and you may not have the time to get things organized again.

To make sure you always have somewhere to place your trash and recyclables, consider adding enclosures to your property. A side-by-side trash enclosure and recycling enclosure can be a great way to manage your waste. You can sort your recyclables right at the bin, while improving the appearance of your garbage area.

In addition to giving you a landing spot for your garbage and recyclables, an enclosure offers a number of other benefits, such as keeping animals out of the trash, enhancing curb appeal, and reducing sanitation violations.

Trash Doesn’t Have To Be Nasty Business—Try CITIBIN Today

It’s true that having a beautiful and reliable trash enclosure isn’t necessarily going to help you produce less waste—but it can help you to manage that waste more successfully. The CITIBIN garbage enclosure is a perfect option when you need to establish a spot where all of your garbage can be held until it is picked up each week. Take control over your trash by ordering a CITIBIN today!