America Is #1 ... in Making Garbage
"America first!" Republican nominee Donald Trump shouted, standing in front on a wall of garbage in Monessen, Pennsylvania last June. But in a way, Trump was right. Rich countries generally produce more waste than poor countries, and with nearly four and a half pounds of municiple solid waste per person, per day, America is leading the pack. The U.S. produces more waste than any other country.
American cities are struggling to meet their green goals, from San Francisco to New York, who have both hopped on the "zero-waste" bandwagon. In fact, of Bloomberg's new list of the world's most sustainable cities, not a single U.S. city cracked the top 20.
But high cost of living doesn't make this impossible. In 2016, Zurich was rated the world's most expensive city and the most sustainable.
On the other hand, some American companies have made real strides toward sustainability. For example, Google's zero waste "moonshot" unveiled last week, meaning nothing ends up in a landfill, doesn't seem too far fetched given their current progress.
"To date, six of our operating Google data centers—nearly half—have achieved 100 percent landfill diversion of all waste," announced VP of Global Operations Jim Miller.
"Our offices have also been looking at innovative ways to design out waste," Miller continued. "For example, in the Bay Area we have already achieved an 86 percent landfill diversion rate."