But where does it all go? Whether it’s an island built as a landfill or the outskirts of historic monuments, the world’s waste is piling up with no end in sight. The following images offer an acute reminder of the seriousness of waste management and the desperate need to address it. It’s simply not sustainable.
Compared to other nations, the United States generates waste at an alarming rate. America is home to only 4% of the global population, yet we throw out over 570 billion pounds of municipal solid waste annually. Each American discards an average of 1,650 pounds of garbage each year, that’s more than 4.5 pounds per person, every single day. The United States is currently responsible for more than 30% of the planets total waste generation. Despite steady increases in recycling rates over the past decade, this number continues to rise.
The average, American throws out an around of 4.5 pounds of garbage every single day.
Most people don’t give much thought to what happens to their garbage after it’s placed on the curb. What really happens to our trash once it’s been tossed out? Where exactly, does all this garbage end up? This 20-minute documentary dives headlong into the questions. Watch to learn the answers and discover along the way that our trash ends up in some unlikely places.
Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of ‘catadores”-self-designated pickers of recyclables.