50 Surprising Facts about Rubbish and Waste

Paul's Rubbish

Waste and rubbish have slowly but surely become part of everyday life. Years back, humans used to recycle and reuse almost everything, simply because things were scarce. There were no industries that produce thousands of products every single day. At the same time, many societies didn’t have the infrastructure to transport millions of goods from one place to another.

Fast forward to today, the world is producing and delivering billions of products and goods. You are always spoilt for choice every time you’re out shopping. The truth is that all this production has led to a drastic increase in the amount of waste produced by humans.

Here are 50 waste facts that will undoubtedly startle you.

1) Australia ranks among the topmost wasteful nations in the World. Every year, this nation produces waste twice the rate of its population. The average Aussie generates over 1.5 tonnes of waste yearly. In 1999, Australia ranked second in the world most waste producing nations list.

2) Each year, the average Australian family brings forth waste that can fill a three bedroom house. That’s a production of about 2.25 kg of rubbish each day by every family.

3) If you put all the waste produced every year (worldwide) in trucks, the vehicles can circle the globe 24 times. The rubbish levels are this high because 99% of everything humans buy gets trashed within 6 months.

4) Over 10 million plastic bags get used in Australia each day. It is a situation that had led to a lot of havoc in the ocean.

5) Food produced in Australia yearly can feed over 60 million people. Shockingly, Aussies throw away food worth over $3.5k every year.

6) A large number of Australians struggle to find something to eat every day while other inhabitants generate over 3.3 million waste tonnes yearly.

7) Plastics represent the biggest amount of waste in many nations around the world. Australia has generated over 6.3 billion tonnes of plastics thus far.

8) Out of all the plastics that get generated in Australia, 12% gets incinerated, 9% gets recycled, while the rest fills the ocean, landfills, and waterways.

9) Plastic straws are the worst when it comes to plastic waste. It is because you cannot recycle them, plus they can be a real menace when they get into the waterways.

10) On average, humans bin over 50 million tonnes of electrical waste globally, every single year. If you decide to put all this waste in double decker-buses, it will amount to over 4 million vehicles filled with stereos, old computers, kitchen appliances, TVs, old phones etc.

11) Before a baby becomes fully potty-trained, he/ she will have used a total number of disposable nappies weighing as much as a family car. Luckily, there are now companies focused on recycling used nappies.

12) Supermarkets reject 20- 40% of all the fruits they receive because of cosmetic standards. All the fruits that are lumpy, weird-looking, or misshapen get tossed out into the bins.

13) Schools are responsible for producing a large amount of waste each year. A lot of rubbish comes from all the paperwork, cafeteria meals, and other school activities.

14) Every year, Australian inhabitants purchase over 1 billion plastic bottles. Worldwide, people purchase 1 million plastic bottles every minute. Only 20% of all these bottles get recycled.

15) Earth’s oceans are home to over 1.4 billion trash lbs. At the end of this year, there will be approximately 8 million waste items that have entered the ocean.

16) All the waste collected from household bins ends up in landfills. These landfills are now the biggest contributors to soil pollution. At the same time, over 80% of the rubbish buried in landfills is recyclable.

17) Bottled Water firms are the ‘lords of waste.’ There is no other industry anywhere in the world that as much waste as the water companies.

18) Out of all the oil produced around the globe, 10% goes to the production and transportation of disposable plastics. These are items like plastic plates, cups, spoons etc.

19) Trash is really expensive to deal with. Many societies spend more getting rid of trash than they do on libraries, parks, schoolbooks, and fire protection.

20) Carpets are creating a waste menace like never before. In many nations, inhabitant throw away millions of old carpets and this goes on to increase the waste burden the world faces every year.

21) If you recycle an aluminium can, you are saving energy that can run a TV for more than two hours. At the same time, it takes over 100 years for an aluminium can in a landfill to decompose.

22) Sea waste has a direct effect on humans. By consuming marine animals that have fed on ocean litter, you are exposing yourself to serious health risks.

23) During World War 1, people salvaged enough metal waste from corset stays to construct two warships.

24) Glass waste in a landfill can take over 1 million years to decompose.

25) Sadly, burials are a major source of waste. Stowing away the coffins alone amounts to trashing 2700 tonnes of copper, 30m feet of hardwood, and over 90, 272 tons of steel into the soil every year.

26) If humans continue to use non-recyclable plastics as they do now, the ocean will have more plastics (by weight) than fish.

27) Waste does not only comprise of solid materials. Water can be waste too. In fact, that leaky tap in your house can lead to over 5,000 litres of water waste this year alone.

28) Other than waste from our households and individual activities, there is also a lot of industrial waste that comes from infrastructure, cars, and buildings.

29) The amount of waste produced on holidays is higher than on other days. It is simply because people tend to shop and consume more during special days.

30) Improper rubbish removal is leading to huge losses in relation to marine life. Every year, millions of birds, porpoises, and dolphins die because of marine litter.

31) According to data from UNCHS (United Nations Centre for Human Settlements), municipal authorities in larger cities collect only about 25-55% of the total waste generated.

32) Estimation by UNDP (United Nations Development Program) over five million people die from ailments that emanate from inadequate waste disposal systems.

33) Developed countries alone generate over half of the globe’s total municipal waste.

34) Industrialised countries are responsible for the 325-375 million tons of hazardous and toxic waste that gets churned out annually. Most of this type of waste comes from petrochemical and chemical industries.

35) The commercial generation of nuclear power generation has led to the accumulation of thousands of tonnes of radioactive waste and over 80000 tonnes of irradiated fuel.

36) If you create a country out of all the annual waste food, this nation would be one of the globe’s top producers of carbon dioxide. In fact, the waste food country would rank number three behind only the US and China.

37) There are 759 million undernourished individuals suffering from hunger. It can only take a quarter of all the wasted food to feed every individual who falls in the hunger category.

38) When you compare food wasted by typical African with that wasted by a European, the latter throws away fifteen times more food than the former.

39) Every year, food waste generated by humans produces carbon dioxide measuring over 3.3 billion tonnes. When all this gas remains un-tapped, it goes a long way in accelerating global climate change.

40) When you exclude the small amounts of plastics incinerated annually, every piece of plastic ever produced anywhere exists in some form or shape.

41) Waste products like industrial metals and heavy acids, nuclear reactors, sewage can change a marine animal’s biochemistry, reproduction, behaviour, and growth characteristics.

42) In industrialised countries, 40% of the food produced becomes waste at the consumer and retail stages. On the other hand, developing countries waste 40% of all the food produced during the post-harvesting and processing stages.

43) Every day, the number of bottles/ cans thrown away by Aussies can stretch across the entire country. That is a distance measuring about 4,000 KM.

44) Dogs are largely responsible for making garbage more filthy and toxic by urinating on the trash. A dog that finds a bag full of litter on the street considers it a new feature in the landscape and something that it can mark using its pee.

45) A natural landscape littered with trash is bad for your mental health because looking at it doesn’t give you the restorative and relaxing feelings normally provoked by well-neat areas.

46) Construction sites are also largely responsible for all the rubbish that ends up in Australian landfills. These sites produce a lot of demolition and development waste. Three-quarters of all this waste goes to different landfills.

47) There are now many retailers who accept e-waste from consumers and it doesn’t matter where the products came from. Therefore, before tossing that old phone into the bin, consider delivering it to a recycling company.

48) There are millennials who have adopted waste management strategies so much so that they only produce a can of trash annually. Most of these individuals are part of the zero-waste movement.

49) If African countries had the required infrastructure and technology, food waste in these nations would decrease drastically.

50) Currently, there are reliable companies that can manage and recycle for you all the waste produced in your home, business, or school.

As you can see, dramatic changes will need to be made to create a sustainable future. One step at a time is always the best move. Hopefully, you can see the importance of developing better waste management strategies. Paul’s Rubbish Removal is here to provide the perfect solution for your rubbish removal throughout Sydney. We collect and pick up rubbish for proper disposal.

Call us on 0407 125 125 for all your unwanted junk removed in Sydney!

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Excellent service, quote given on the spot for major clean-up of household throw-outs. The team provides quick, efficient and courteous removal! Very satisfied customer.
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Paul, sensational job as always, love how easy you make it look. Definitely won’t hesitate in calling you again should either my family or friends need rubbish removed. Thanks again!
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Sarah Ann

Sarah Baker is a Digital Content Writer for Paul's Rubbish Removal. Sarah is a huge advocate for recycling, environmental sustainability, health and well-being and has a genuine love for all sea animals. Keep up with Sarah by following Paul's Rubbish Removal blog!
Sarah Ann

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By |2019-08-13T16:36:47+11:00February 19th, 2019|Rubbish Removals|0 Comments
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