Japanese Overtake Americans in Trash Production

Tokyo – A government report published in late January shows the Japanese produce more waste than Americans. In fiscal year 2000, Japan generated 52.36 million tons of garbage, which is nearly 1 million pounds more than the previous year. Households were responsible for most of the increase. Their share weighed in at 34.37 million tons and averaged 2.5 pounds of solid waste per person per day, a little more than the average American throws out.

Businesses put out 17.99 million tons in 2000. Japan burns approximately 75 percent of its trash, and disposal sites are hard to come by in the densely populated country. But the report states that the Japanese ministry is pushing recycling to keep up with the escalating numbers of refuse; the ministry is aiming to divert half of the landfill-bound waste within 10 years.