Waste generation has increased in massive proportions over the last 100 years, but this has not always been the case. The causes of this increment could be attributed, on the one hand, to the development of society, to modernization or the consumption system. And, on the other hand, this increase is reinforced by the exponential growth of the population.

The following table shows the evolution of garbage generation evolution in the USA[1]  over a wide range of years, from 1960 to 2011:

In the series, we can see that municipal waste has almost tripled in only 51 years. The same proportion could be applied to Europe (EU27) if there were data before the EU. From 1995 to 2003, the municipal waste in the EU25 increased[2] by 19% (the same percentage as the economic activity or GDP). In Spain, the waste[3] generation has increased by 55% between 1990 and 2003.

In the USA, municipal waste has tripled in the last 50 years

In fact, one of the main problems is the direct correlation between GPD and waste, it means, more GPD more waste is produced (we will talk more about it).

Want to know more?

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

[1] United States Environmental Protection Agency.  Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2012

[2] and [3]. Libro Verde de la sostenibilidad urbana y local en la era de la información, Ministerio de agricultura, alimentación y medio ambiente, 2012.

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