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Waste

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 WASTE FACTS
50-80% of the US's electronic waste collected for recycling gets shipped out the country
Up to 96% of a typical family's waste in poor countries is made up of food and biodegradable materials
Food cans and milk bottles are half the weight they were 50 years ago

Sources: Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, AAAS
People in rich countries throw away up to 800kg of waste each a year, compared to less than 200kg in the poorest countries. Find out more about the world’s waste from the graphs below.

Graph: waste disposal in cities

Three quarters of city waste in transitional economies (primarily countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe) – and more than two thirds in Africa - is not formally collected. Most of it ends up on the streets, in open spaces or informal dumps.


Graph: waste disposal methods

The US recycles more than a third of its waste – but this still represents more than most other countries’ total waste output. Poorer countries tend to recycle and incinerate less, so rely on landfills more.
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