2.6 Trillion Pounds of Garbage: Where Does the World’s Trash Go?

June 22, 2012 8:56 am 0 comments Views:

Share this Article

  • TwitterTwitter
  • Facebook
  • DeliciousDelicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleuponStumble
  • RedditReddit
  • Follow Me on PinterestPinterest
  • Google+


This year, the world will generate 2.6 trillion pounds of garbage — the weight of about 7,000 Empire State Buildings. What kind of trash is it? Where does it all go?

The answer is that just under half of it comes from “organic” waste — food, mostly — and most of it goes into landfills, according to a new report this week from the World Bank. Here’s that story in pie charts, provided by the report.


The rich, of course. OECD countries make almost half the world’s trash. East Asia and the Pacific region (EAP) contributes another fifth. Africa and South Asia produce the least waste.

Screen Shot 2012-06-06 at 8.20.52 PM.png


Mostly food and paper. Organic trash — food we eat, food animals eat, horticultural waste -  makes up about half of global solid waste, and paper and plastic add another 27%. 

Screen Shot 2012-06-06 at 8.20.17 PM.png

[Lower income countries to the left; Higher income to the right]

In both rich and poor countries, the vast majority of our waste goes into landfills where it’s (often) covered up. A very small share of waste in the World Bank’s data — which, the authors admit, was difficult to collect for this category — went to recycled or composted waste. “Africa’s collected waste is almost exclusively dumped or sent to landfills,” the report said.

Screen Shot 2012-06-06 at 8.18.56 PM.png

And a tweetable stat for the road: The typical person in a developed country produces about 2.6 pounds of garbage a day. That would mean the average American man, weighing 175 pounds, produces his weight in trash every three months.

By Derek Thompston, from: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/06/26-trillion-pounds-of-garbage-where-does-the-worlds-trash-go/258234/


Leave a Reply

three × 5 =

Latest News

  • accounting Featured Finance FP&A Management Risk Management Strategy Can Finance Have a Seat at the Strategy Table? Not Without Change, New Survey Reveals.

    Can Finance Have a Seat at the Strategy Table? Not Without Change, New Survey Reveals.

    A NEW CFO PRIORITY: TALENT DEVELOPMENT WITH A FOCUS ON SOFT SKILLS In previous years, the finance function sat mostly on its own and “crunched the numbers” without having much input into daily operations or long term strategy. However, the finance role has evolved to one that needs to provide sharp and meaningful analyses to business decision-makers. Can finance hold on to its seat at the strategy table? Not without change. For a free copy of the complete findings, click [...]

    Read more →
  • accounting Biz Intelligence EPM Featured Finance FP&A Risk Management Gain Insight, Compress, and Control the O2C Cycle Using FSCM Big Data

    Gain Insight, Compress, and Control the O2C Cycle Using FSCM Big Data

    For most organizations, cash is king, and optimizing the order-to-cash cycle has become a strategic priority.

    An equally important priority in today’s business environment is compliance with an ever-increasing and complex body of regulatory requirements. Regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act require that all business processes be effectively monitored; however, the complex nature of the order-to-cash cycle presents a number of challenges to the effective testing and monitoring of internal controls.

    How do you optimize the O2C (Order-To-Cash) cycle using big data?

    Read more →
  • Careers FYI Management Lessons In Productive Procrastination

    Lessons In Productive Procrastination

    Frank Partnoy describes himself as an inveterate procrastinator-and the banker/lawyer/author is not convinced that’s a bad thing. His book Wait: The Art and Science of Delay is an investigation into his own habits of prolonged decision-making and the shortsightedness that pervaded crisis-era finance. Fast Company talked with Partnoy about when to make decisions, how to manage time, and why better-paid people are less happy.

    Read more →
  • EPM FYI Management Creativity for the Cautious

    Creativity for the Cautious

    There is a mysterious connection between the need for structure and creativity. Rituals are comforting, but how do you develop innovation and creativity in more risk adverse team members?

    Read more →
  • EPM FYI Management Top Lists 6 Ways to Kill Creativity

    6 Ways to Kill Creativity

    Want your organisation to perform poorly? Here are six ways to kill creativity in business, or anywhere.

    Many organisations claim they want to foster creativity—and so they should—but unintentionally, through their working practices, creativity is killed stone dead.

    That’s what Teresa Amabile, now Director of the Harvard Business School, found when looking back over decades of her research in organisations (Amabile, 1998). As part of one research program she examined seven companies in three different industries, having team members report back daily on their work.

    After two years she found marked differences in how organisations dealt with creativity.

    Read more →
  • Biz Intelligence The ROI of Social CRM

    The ROI of Social CRM

    As more businesses consider the benefits of social media, champions are increasingly asked to prove tangible business value. In its continuing analysis of the impact of social media on sales and marketing initiatives, Nucleus has found that companies can achieve significant benefits by adding social capabilities to CRM deployments, including reduced costs, increased sales, improved employee productivity, and improved brand visibility.

    Read more →
  • Biz Intelligence Economy Management Marketing and Sales Analytics Inside Walmart Labs – How the World’s Largest Retailer Hopes to Sell More By Getting Social

    Inside Walmart Labs - How the World’s Largest Retailer Hopes to Sell More By Getting Social

    One of the most head-scratching tech headlines of April 2011 was the news thatKosmix, a Mountain View, CA-based startup best known for building a Twitter filtering tool called TweetBeat, had been acquired by Walmart. Yes, that Walmart—the one with 9,000 big-box stores spread across the American heartland.

    There was speculation that Walmart’s real interest was in Kosmix’s founders, Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, who have unbeatable pedigrees in the world of e-commerce technology. The pioneering comparison shopping site they co-founded in 1996, Junglee, was acquired by Amazon in 1998 for $250 million; inside Amazon, the pair helped to create the e-retailer’s huge marketplace of third-party retailers and came up with the technology behind Amazon Mechanical Turk. Perhaps Walmart—which paid $300 million for Kosmix, according to AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher—wanted Harinarayan and Rajaraman to work similar miracles for Walmart.com?

    Read more →
  • EPM FYI Analytics Blogger – Journalist or Personal Diary?

    Analytics Blogger – Journalist or Personal Diary?

    There are several bloggers like me who write about the topics of analytics and enterprise risk and performance management (ERM / EPM). What are our writing styles?

    Some do a deep dive into the details of equations and algorithms of analytics or of the various methodologies like strategic balanced scorecards and customer profitability analysis. Some write about current news such as happenings with Facebook, Apple, or other companies. Some write help advice articles with tips on how to be more effective and successful applying these techniques.

    Read more →