This post is by Sponsored Content from Visual Capitalist
The following content is sponsored by Northstar Clean Technologies
Land of Waste: American Landfills by State
Each American produces a whopping 1,700 pounds of waste every year, making the United States the world’s most wasteful country.
Approximately half of the country’s yearly waste will meet its fate in one of the more than 2,000 active landfills across the nation.
In this graphic by Northstar Clean Technologies, we map and compare different states’ landfill waste per capita, using data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
States With Highest Tons of Waste Per Person
Upper Midwestern and eastern industrial states rank highly on the trash-per-capita list, with Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio taking the top five spots.
The availability of cheap landfill space in Michigan attracts trucked-in garbage from out of state and even from Canada. That’s because, under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, waste is considered a commodity, and states and counties cannot restrict its import or export from other states or even other countries.
The state also faces challenges with recycling. Michigan’s statewide recycling rate is around 18%, while the national recycling rate is 32%.
|State||Tons of Waste in Landfills per Person|
Some states are accumulating new landfill waste faster than others. Indiana leads the nation with an annual “landfill waste acceptance rate” of 2.35 tons per year per resident.