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Throwing Away 52 Toyotas

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Posted on : 12:54 PM | By : Nic | In :


I was reading this article today about how much garbage a family makes. I've talked about that before, but this article really had some great comparisons and facts about how much it really is... in the United States, 4.54 pounds per person, per day. In our house, that would add up to about 190 pounds per week, 10,000 pounds per year, or almost 5 tons!

Fortunately, we don't make that much trash... in fact our local waste disposal company in BC wouldn't let us do that because our trash bin can't be bigger than 22 gallons, and weigh no more than 50 pounds. That's a quarter of what Americans throw away weekly. I have to admit that we also have a mountainous pile of recycling, part of which is paper, cardboard and plastic that is taken away by the city, and part of which is cartons and glass which is taken to the recycling depot. And we also do not generally throw food waste out, since we compost any food waste we can. We do use toilet paper, and after we have a baby, even though we are using cloth there will be a disposable diaper or two and disposable wipes.

Is it possible to eliminate garbage? Nope... not unless you make everything you use, yourself, or get your stuff with absolutely no packaging, and keep pigs and chickens to dispose of your waste meat product. Even though we throw away a quarter of what the average American does, the 6 of us still generate 2600 pounds of garbage a year. By the time we live to 75, we will all have thrown away 130,000 pounds of trash = 65 tons = 13 African bull elephants = 52 Toyota Corollas. Should six people really need to throw away 52 Toyota Corollas? Probably not.

Comments (1)

That is insane. I am going to start weighing our trash.
We met up with a friend of ours today, who we found out has been our trash-man for almost a year. He was mentioning all the things he finds in the trash disgusts him, and he never thought about it until he took this job. He finds whole food (3 pizzas untouched), movies, furniture, bicycles, etcetera. All in good shape, too.
While we use a lot less packaged goods than a lot of people I know, I know we can still do better. For three people, we typically have a full bag or two every week.
Thank you for the brain-food.
I continue loving your site. :)