Human Footprint - Our Trash Footprint

Over the next two weeks or so, we'll relay some interesting facts about how we as humans consume not only on a daily basis, but throughout the course of our lifetimes. We'll kick it off with the basics....trash.

Our Trash Imprint
We are now consuming resources faster than the Earth can replace them. In fact, if everyone in the world lived like we do, we would need at least four planets to meet our demand for natural resources and absorb our waste and pollution.

So, just how much trash will each of us leave behind over a lifetime? All of that food, diapers, soap and deodorant has an impact and leaves an impression -- our human footprint on the Earth. And if you break it down, the numbers can be alarming:

Every day, each of us sends 20 gallons of sewage through the system. Over a lifetime, that is 567,575 gallons. To deal with the waste, the United States has built 16,000 treatment centers across the country.

Each of us will send 64 tons of waste to landfills over our lifetime.

Every year the US will generate 246 million tons of solid waste.

Americans throw out 11 million tons of glass bottles ever year -- that's the same weight as 440 Titanics or 30 Empire State Buildings!

Every second, US throw away 694 plastic bottles, adding up to 60 million a day.

And we dispose of 100 million aluminum and steel cans every day -- enough to build a roof over all over a City.
All calculations for the film use the following assumptions: An average lifetime is 77.75 years or 28,379 days. The U.S. population is rounded to 301,000,000.

Amount of Garbage That Humans Make Annually

The EPA reports states - produce approximately 220 million tons of garbage each year. This is equivalent to burying more than 82,000 football fields six feet deep in compacted garbage. There are no statistics readily available for the entire planet, but considering the US makes up about 4% of the world's population, this is a LOT. I would personally estimate the entire planet's yearly production of garbage to be somewhere in the vicinity of 4 to 5 BILLION tons.

Here are more opinions and answers from others:

  • Enough to cover Texas twice. This also fills enough trucks to form a line to the moon.

  • Each American makes about 4 pounds of garbage daily. If the rest of the world produced as much as Americans, there would be about 10 MILLION tons daily, or 4 TRILLION tons yearly.

  •  on average Americans generate 4.3 pounds of trash per day. Do the math: 4.3 X 365 = 1569.5 pounds per person per year. 285 million people in the US = 447307.5 Million pounds of trash. The figure was consumer trash production on average and did not account for industrial waste, but it is a start.

We throw away about 1825 pounds of trash! 

How much garbage do we produce in the just 1 country

Over 2/3rds of the stuff we throw away is edible. Each year Americans create nearly 210 million tons of solid waste. 42% of our garbage is made up of paper textile.
About three and a half pounds of solid waste are thrown away every day for each person in the U.S.
Trash often contains chemicals such as those found in cleaners, paints,and sprays.

Some types of solid waste cannot be hauled off by packer trucks and goes to a landfill.

No matter how hard we try there is no escaping garbage.
Of all the waste we generate, we now recycle about 40%.

In 1999 we threw away about 930,000 pounds of garbage in the USA.
People throw away about 4 pounds of garbage a day per person.
One single person throws away four pounds of garbage a day.Over 2/3 of the food we throw away is edible.We throw more garbage away now than we ever have thrown away.

we create more than 2.02 tons per person per year.
Industrialized countries produce more than half of the world's garbage.
We throw away more than 50 cd's each year in the United States Of America.
we Now throw away more Garbage than we ever have.
an average person throws away about four pounds a trash a day about half of the trash we throw away is still safe to eat

It's important to recycle because all of that we can reuse. Which means the world would be producing less, so factories won't be giving off smoke and creating air pollution.