Try our corporate solution for free!
(212) 419-8286

Global municipal solid waste generation by key country 2017

The United States is the largest producer of municipal solid waste (MSW) in the world, generating approximately 260 million metric tons of garbage in 2017. The average U.S. citizen produces 2.6 kilograms of MSW daily, the highest per capita waste generation in the world.

Types of municipal solid waste

Municipal solid waste (MSW) consists of various everyday items, such as uneaten food, household appliances, clothing, and plastic packaging. The fastest growing waste stream is electronic waste, especially in developing nations. The volume of e-waste generated worldwide reached 54 million metric tons in 2019.

What happens to municipal solid waste?

Once collected by the appointed company, waste is then transported to sites to be either landfilled, recycled, composted, or recovered. Although recycling rates have been improving, landfilling is still the most common form of waste disposal and treatment worldwide. As waste generation continues to grow around the globe, many landfill sites have grown to astronomical sizes. The largest site as of 2019 was the Apex Regional landfill in Las Vegas. At 2,200 acres, this colossal landfill holds approximately 50 million tons of waste and receives about 9,000 tons of MSW every day.

Generation of municipal solid waste worldwide in 2017, by select country (in million metric tons)*

Loading statistic...
You need to log in to download this statistic
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date

September 2018



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Year of data reported varies for each country. Data was reported in 2001: India; 2009: Nigeria; 2011: South Africa; 2012: Russia; 2014: Argentina, Canada, Korea, United States; 2015: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Kingdom; 2016: Indonesia; and 2017: Pakistan.
Figures were rounded.

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.

Single Account
The ideal entry-level account for individual users
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references
$59 $39 / Month *
in the first 12 months
Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "Global waste generation"

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.