What is our garbage like?

The waste in that ends up in the street containers or bins comes mainly from households and businesses (which represent contribute about 1/3 of the municipal waste).

If you review the recycling type of waste present found in the general waste or trash[1] container (usually the gray one) and add the waste collected in from the recycling bins, the result is the following you get the  standard next garbage standard bag:[2]:

Most of the garbage that we generate is organic matter and comes from household food waste and green waste. It represents 38% of the total waste, although it this varies depending on the region or the country. Subsequently, in developing countries, this percentage is higher, while in more developing countries it is lower.

Glass, plastics, metals, cartons, paper, and cardboard packaging represent 32%. The remaining 30% corresponds to various materials –- such as clothing, furniture, demolition debris-– that could be recycled via other channels. It is estimated that 84% of household waste is recyclable.

38% of the the generated waste that we generate is organic 

Want to know more?

 The book Stop garbage. The truth about recycling, Alex Pascual, February 2019

[1]. Technically named known as general waste or household waste (UK) or trash (USA), the waste fraction that remains is left over once the other recycling fractions have been removed, we can find several different types: diapers, pads, cleaning waste, broken pottery, cigarette butts and ashes, among others.

[2]. My compilation from different studies: “Pesa la brossa” 2014. Study for by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and General Program of Prevention and Waste Management of Catalonia 2013-2020. According to the Agència de Residus de Catalunya 2014, the data are organic 37%, paper, and cardboard 12%, glass 8%, plastics and metals 12%. “La gestió dels residus i el seu impacte en el canvi climàtic.” Statistics 2014

2 thoughts on “What is our garbage like?”

  1. Pingback: Biowaste: A key point – Stop Garbage

  2. Pingback: The importance of recycling plastic and metal – Stop Garbage

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