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What country produces the most waste/trash per person?

Updated on February 25, 2009
It starts with this!
It starts with this!

At least I found a good resource link

Sometimes I wonder why I choose to write about some topics but at least this one allowed me to find a useful resource link for future topics.

This subject is so large that we can do little about changing it for the whole world, as individuals. It will require a major change in the way we live and do business in the world before this problem will ever go away.

So to research the topic I googled "garbage per capita" and found a link for something called the OECD. To keep it short, it is a group of 30 countries that work together on world problems and keep track of information regarding the state of these member countries and others that are not members.

Here's a few links and general information regarding the OECD. A little easier reading would be the Wikipedia article on the OECD which is short for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. They are headquartered in Paris, France. The useful link is the OECD Factbook. Look under statistics and the locate the book.

From this, you can determine that the top four major garbage creators/capita, according to the OECD, are Norway, the United States, Ireland and Denmark.

And so what does this tell us? Not a whole lot because they aren't significantly worse than the next bunch. The top four averaged about 1600-1700 lbs./person based on a 2005 study while Canada came in at 24th with a reading of about 900 lbs/person. In all cases, that's a lot of trash making its way to landfill sites everywhere.

So what's the answer?. I really don't know but it starts with reduce, reuse and recycle. Let's work on getting the numbers down first before we can figure out how to deal with garbage in general. It's a huge problem but the answers aren't really simple.

We do need to stop buying products that are made in other countries where there is little control of waste management. But we still keep shopping at Walmart and argue that we have to because it's cheaper. We are our own worst enemy now aren't we.


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    • Bozoplay profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from London

      According to the OECD table, Mexico produces 400kg per capita which is about half the rate of the top four.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      do you know how much trash do mexican trew every year?

      do you know the per capital?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      the canadian government are slow in changing the by laws to allowed more wiind/solar power. there are no insentives, they actually raise your property taxes. plus they are making a lot of money the supplying electricy. Take Toronto for example , if delieveries are made in the city at night. It will reduce the idling time stuck in traffic.

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 

      9 years ago

      Bozoplay- your well spoken. I must say I am surprised about Denmark. I agree that it is a BIG problem- like a mountain that must be taken apart one-rock-at - time. We are not only creatures of habit but very comfortable with our conveniences (that produce the waste) I hope we can make enough headway for the next generation to really dig their heels in before it gets uglier.

      I am excited about the website you found and plan on digesting it.

      On the side- I have not gotten on the Walmart bandwagon as I would simply be a clanging gong not having done any research on them. Could you clue me in on why you mentioned them here? Just a little..(I have  request for you).

      Thank you for writing this.


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