Sustainable Missoula: Montanans simply throw away too much trash

By the 2019 Upward Bound Sustainable Journalism class at UM.
Originally published in Missoula Current, July 12, 2019.

Our lifestyles are hurting the world, but we can change that. During the Upward Bound trip to the Missoula landfill and Home ReSource, we learned that we make a lot of trash. Montanans throw away 7.26 pounds of trash per person per day, but the rest of the country only throws away an average of 4.38 pounds. It’s time to start reducing the amount of trash we make.

The United States creates the most trash in the entire world, around 251 million tons every year. So what happens with all that stuff?  The majority of the U.S. sends its unwanted trash to a dump. Even when presented opportunities to recycle or donate, most unwanted items are thrown away.

Landfills haven’t always been the problem that they are now, and prior to landfills people used to just burn their trash in open dumps….Read the entire article at

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