How much trash does America produce? If you divide total trash by the population, the average American would produce about 2,072 pounds of trash per year total.

How much garbage does America produce? Collectively, out of the 254 million tons of trash Americans can produce in one year, we recycle about 34.3 percent of it. For our average individual, 710.6 pounds are recycled and 1,361.4 pounds of trash are tossed out every year — about the weight of a grizzly bear.

How much trash does the average American produce a day? According to the EPA, the average American person will produce about 5.91 pounds of trash, with about 1.51 pounds being recycled; 4.40 pounds is the rough average daily waste per person. That’s a lot!

But that’s just a brief look at the waste problems in America without examining the details. What types of trash are we piling up, and is this waste having a long-term negative impact on the planet?

The average American produces the following pounds of trash every year:

  • 38 pounds of newspapers
  • 48 pounds of books
  • 25 pounds of office papers
  • 22 pounds of paper plates or cups
  • 28 pounds of aluminum beer and soda cans
  • 77 pounds of plastic bottles and jars
  • 90 pounds of tossed-out clothes and shoes
  • 77 pounds of cardboard boxes

And of course, there’s much more. For instance, you might wonder how many pounds of food does the average American waste. The answer is upsetting: Each year, each person tosses out roughly 220.96 pounds of food waste, which is especially tragic since so many children are going hungry in the United States.

On a worldwide scale, we produce 2.6 trillion pounds of trash per year. OECD (Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development) countries collectively produce 44% of the world’s garbage.

How much trash is produced each year by the U.S. compared to other countries? No country produces quite as much waste as America, but Russian isn’t far behind. Brazil, Japan, China, India, and Germany are all big wasters as well. Waste management is becoming more and more of an international problem, which may require international involvement in the long run.

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