TONS to Talk About

We have TONS to talk about.

TONS of trash, that is. Your trash, my trash, our trash. Americans generate approximately 254 millions tons of trash annually. That’s 508 billion pounds of trash. Every. Single. Year. That’s approximately four pounds of trash per person, per day.

But 254 million tons is an enormous number and while we all recognize that it’s a big number, sometimes it’s difficult to truly appreciate the scale until and/or unless we compare it to something more familiar…say, the Empire State Building. When it was completed in 1931, The Empire State Building was the tallest and grandest structure in the world. Today it stands 1454 feet (ground to spire), with 102 stories. Its estimated weight is 365,000 tons. It is truly an enormous–and heavy–structure. And yet…

Our annual garbage output weighs 700 times more than the Empire State Building.

Yikes.

The Great Pyramid of Giza, on the other hand, is less than half as tall as the Empire State Building, and is estimated to weigh 6 million tons. And yet…

It would still take 42 of them to equal the amount of garbage we Americans produce each year.

Double yikes.

But even those comparisons are difficult to understand. So let’s start with a person; a six foot tall person. That is a scale we’re all accustomed to.

Keep that 6 ft tall person in mind as you view the following infographic.

Tons to Talk About, a blog post by EcoGoodz, a used clothing supplier in the USA

Standing over 300 feet tall and weighing in at 225 tons, the Statue of Liberty is BIG. If you were six feet tall, it would take 50 of you to reach its height. But that’s small potatoes compared to the Great Pyramid at Giza, which stands a full 150 feet taller than Lady Liberty. Not only is it taller, but it weighs more, too. In fact, it would take nearly 27,000 Statues of Liberty to equal the weight of the Great Pyramid.

Considering the enormous weight and scale of these two structures, each and every one of us should be nothing less than horrified to learn that Americans throw away 254 million tons of garbage every. single. year.

Our annual trash output = 42 Great Pyramids

Please: Think before you throw.

 

It’s interesting to note that most of our “garbage” is actually recyclable and/or recoverable. Here’s the breakdown of the 254 million tons generated in 2013:

2012_totl_msw_gen_fig4_400pxw

Rubber, leather, and textiles, for example: 95% of household textiles are reusable or recyclable. Even used clothing that is unfit to wear can be shredded and remade into other products.  Used shoes, too, can be dismantled and reworked into many different products. Unless a clothing item or shoe is saturated with chemicals or is mildewed, it can be recycled.

The single biggest source of America’s “solid municipal waste” is paper. Paper is easily recycled and can be used and recycled indefinitely.

For further information, visit the EPA Municipal Solid Waste Infographic

 

Think before you throw and remember: Textiles are not trash!

 

 

EcoGoodz is a used clothing supplier in the USA. We supply both mixed rags and credential clothing. In addition, we can supply used paired shoes, soft toys, hard toys, bulk linens, and purses and belts. We ship worldwide by the container load. For more information about used clothing or any of our other products, please contact us.