Garbology – Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash

“What is America’s largest export, most prodigious product and greatest legacy — the biggest thing we make? Our trash.

Americans make more trash than anyone else on the planet, throwing away about 7.1 pounds per person per day, 365 days a year. Across a lifetime that rate means, on average, we are each on track to generate 102 tons of trash.

Each of our bodies may occupy only one cemetery plot when we’re done with this world, but a single person’s 102-ton trash legacy will require the equivalent of 1,100 graves.

Much of that refuse will outlast any grave marker, pharaoh’s pyramid or modern skyscraper: One of the few relics of our civilization guaranteed to be recognizable twenty thousand years from now is the potato chip bag.”

Edward Humes, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash, 2012