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article imageUS big world producer of garbage and US military of pollution

By Ken Hanly     Jul 3, 2019 in Environment
The US makes up only four percent of the global population yet it produces 12 percent of the world's trash. This is a larger percent per person than either India or China.
The US does not recycle much of its waste
Compared to some other countries the US recycles a relatively low percentage of its waste. The US recycles only 35 percent of its garbage. On the other hand, Germany manages to reuse 68 percent of its waste. Waste from many first world countries such as the US is sent to other countries to be recycled or dumped. Many developing countries are now refusing to take more garbage including China.
The Maplecroft report
The new report on garbage comes from the UK-based strategic and risk consulting firm Maplecroft. The firm measured the waste generation and recycling performance of 194 countries to generate a profile of the worst polluting countries. The report claims about the US: “The US is the only developed nation whose waste generation outstrips its ability to recycle, underscoring a shortage of political will and investment in infrastructure."
It is not clear how this conclusion fits in with the fact that Canada exports its garbage as well as do other countries. The Philippines has recently returned garbage sent to it by Canada. Indonesia has recently sent back toxic trash to Australia an Germany as well as the US.
Given its huge population it is not surprising that in terms of volume China is the largest producer of waste . However, China is one of the few countries that actually produced a lesser percentage of world garbage than its share of world population. China has recently made major improvements with large sums of money invested by the government to reduce environmental damage. In contrast the US especially under the Trump administration is moving slowly.
The United States
Trump has been notoriously skeptical about climate change even calling the promotion of the idea as being involved in a Chinese plot aimed at reducing US manufacturing. Often neglected in discussions is the role of the military in producing greenhouse gases.
The US military as producer of greenhouse gases
Another recent report by Professor Neta that the US military is the world's single largest producer of greenhouse gases
Her report notes: "Since 2001, when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 attacks, the military has emitted 1,212 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses. This includes 400 million tons of directly war-related emissions in the war zones of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria. In 2017, the last year for which data is available, the Department of Defense (DOD) emitted 58.4 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent. This is more than the total emitted by the nations of Sweden or Denmark and is a substantial amount that significantly contributes to climate change. "
More about US garbage production, world garbage, export of waste
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