The World’s 5 Most Wasteful Cities

Here in the UK we’ve been encouraged to recycle as much as possible to help save our planet for well over a decade now. In fact, the UK’s recycling rate grew faster between 2000 and 2010 than any other country in Europe.

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We’re now known for our high air quality and healthy water sanitation, but not all other countries are managing their waste so successfully.

Here we’ll take a look at the 5 most wasteful cities in the world:

5. Mumbai, India

According to the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that studied and compared 27 megacities around the world, Mumbai is the world’s 5th most wasteful city.

This giant city with a population of more than 23 million (roughly a third of the UK’s size) was found to generate 10.03 million metric tons of waste back in 2011.

4. Los Angeles, California, USA

Los Angeles is America’s second largest city and therefore, it is unsurprising that it produces a lot of waste. In 2011, it created 11.1 million metric tons of municipal solid waste, around half a ton for every member of its population.

3. Tokyo, Japan

Since Tokyo is the most populous city in the world, out-populating the second most populous city Delhi, India, by more than 10 million people, we think they are doing quite well to come third on this list. However, more can always be done.

Back in 2011, Japan’s population was dramatically decreasing due to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, and therefore, the amount of waste per person was considerably high. Tokyo generated 11.9 million metric tons of solid waste in 2011, but they used less than a third of the energy the number one city on this list did.

By the end of 2014, the population recovered to a huge 38 million people. It would be interesting to learn what their waste is like now.

2. Mexico City, Mexico

The capital city of Mexico is the second most wasteful city in the world according to the study. At the time of research it had a population of 24.2 million and generated 12.2 million metric tons, more than half a ton per resident.

However, the study also noted that a lot of construction work was being undertaken at this time which wasn’t always recorded correctly, therefore solid waste data could be considerably higher.

  1. New York, USA

The most wasteful city in the world is New York! In 2011, it was the most populous city in the world and its then 34 million inhabitants created nearly 3 times the amount that the city in second position did. That year, 33.2 million metric tons were generated meaning that it had the most solid waste produced per capita in the world too.

New York was also the city that used the most energy and water in the world.

Let’s Put Things in Perspective

At this same time, the UK population was around 63 million people, with its largest city, London, being home to around 8.2 million. London created less than 5 million metric tons of municipal solid waste and was one of the best countries surveyed when it came to water usage.

So, what does that mean for the UK’s average Joe? Well, keep up the hard work and continue to recycle as much as possible. Let’s keep our waste figures down!

Do you know you can recycle your domestic waste that goes into skips too? GD Environmental recycle 95% of all waste it collects. Find out more about its waste management services by phoning 01633 277755 today.

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