America has been named the worst waste offender in the world, producing 12% of global municipal solid waste, that’s three times the global average, while representing just 4% of the world’s population. The study, conducted by Verisk Maplecroft, used public data and academic research to calculate the waste generation index which shows rates of municipal solid waste, waste collected by local authorities, plastic, food and hazardous material per capita.
It is thought the US is failing because of their poor recycling capacities. Of the 239 million tons of waste it produces each year, that works out as 234 pounds per person, only 35% of it is recycled, the only developed nation whose waste generation outstrips its recycling abilities. America also ships a lot of its waste to China where, instead of being recycled, it is simply burnt. However, the recent banning of exporting waste to countries in Asia is hoped to bring about a change in America’s recycling policies.
The most efficient country in the world for waste management is Germany, who recycle an impressive 68% of their municipal solid waste. The UK has been listed as 14th with a recycling rate of 45.2%, but this rating is predicted to improve further with the recent moves the government has taken in a bid to dramatically reduce the country’s waste problem, such as banning certain single use plastics by 2022. Indeed, areas of the UK boast a recycling rate that is well above the national average, including the areas W&S operate in; Oxfordshire’s recycling rate is over 50% while Dorset’s is even better at 58%.
In response to the global waste crisis, world leaders at the Group of 20 Summit in Tokyo recently pledged to reduce the amount of plastic waste leaked into our oceans to zero by 2050. Activists have criticized the move for focusing on waste management rather than waste reduction.
As fully qualified recycling specialists in the south, W&S are experts in sustainable waste management and recycling needs. To learn more about how we can help you reduce your carbon footprint, please contact our experienced team today on 01202 675564.
Locate your nearest household waste centre and scrap yard using the list below. Unsure of where your waste needs to go? Contact our team and we'll be more than happy to help. For your local council charges visit the Oxford Council and Dorset For You websites.