Across most developed nations, landfill still remains the primary means of waste disposal. Many countries are attempting to minimise the amount of waste going to incinerators and landfill sites by developing recycling programs. In OECD countries, at least, their efforts have had varying degrees of success.
Take Germany as a shining example. If you land in Frankfurt airport and travel to the city centre, you might spot the unpleasant sight of desperate people rummaging through the garbage. They are hunting for plastic and glass bottles that yield 25 and 7 cents respectively when recycled. Even though initiatives like the bottle deposit system have drawn poorer members of society to pick through the trash, recycling rates are high across the country.