The world generates nearly two billion tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) each year, enough to fit into 822,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. MSW includes trash from companies, buildings, houses, yards, and small businesses.
China produced the most municipal solid waste of any country in the World Bank’s database at 395 million tons per year, followed by the U.S. with 265 million tons. The U.S., however, ranked much higher for the creation of MSW per capita at approximately 812 kg for every U.S. resident, trailing only Monaco, Moldova, Mongolia, Liechtenstein and Denmark. This means that every person in the U.S. produces almost five pounds of MSW every day.
The amount of trash created is set to rise as the world population continues to grow and, most of all, grows more affluent. Between 2016 and 2050, waste is expected to increase by as much as 70 percent, according to the World Bank.