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Which Asian City Produces the Most Trash in the World?

29 Oct 2010

According to TIME’s Ecocentric, this city in question created a jaw-dropping “total of 6.45 million tons of waste in 2009, which, on a per capita basis, breaks down to 2000 pounds (921 kg) of municipal solid waste per person. (Excluding construction and hazardous waste.)” Find out which city after the break.

The South China Morning Post’s headline this past Tuesday announced that its home city of Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, was the leading producer of refuse in the world. The special administrative region’s trash is nearly double the amount generated by Japan and South Korea, and 91kg more per capita than wasteful runner-up Norway, according to a list of 30 economies surveyed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) last year.

How can a city so small produce an rubble mountain so great? One problem is exactly its size: In a city where the only real estate is up, there are only three main landfills. The alternative of incineration carries its own complication of pollution, already a serious problem for Hong Kong residents.

So, finding a proper solution will likely become one of the large debates for the city. Sustainable living is a start, and like my mother always told me, you have to finish your food. For every grain of rice you leave behind, your future partner will have that many moles on his or her face. It’s true.

[SCMP (paywall) via Ecocentric]

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Wei Li Hsu permalink
    30 Oct 2010 3:04 PM

    oh god… this makes me sad

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