Whenever you hear the word “junk” or “rubbish,” what’s the first thing that comes into your mind? “Yakk” or “Agh,” I suppose? Well, that’s not abnormal. Every 8 out of 10 people would give this same reaction. So why not the other 2? What’s their secret?
Well, they know that taking a $25 billion industry so lightly would be a mistake! You’re gaping, right? It’s OK. After hearing this unlikely truth, your jaws are supposed to fall, and there’s no harm in that. But wait, don’t go away too soon! Let us provide you with some facts first. The waste collection and treatment industry is like a dark corner in an alley. Everybody knows that it’s there, but no one dares to approach the corner. But, if they do, they could be brought into a whole new dimension. That is just what we will do today.
Facts about Rubbish
- On average, each person in the UK throws away their own body weight in rubbish every seven weeks. The UK produces more than 100 million tonnes of waste every year. In less than two hours, the waste produced would fill the Albert Hall in London, and in eight months it would fill the largest lake in England!
- Every American throws away 7 pounds of garbage per day. That’s 102 tons in a lifetime. And this number is the largest on the planet.
- Edward Humes stated in his book “Garbology: Our dirty love affair with trash” that water bottles are the most wasteful product we use. In America, people throw away 60 million water bottles a day. That means 700 bottles are being thrown away every minute.
- Wanna know about food wastes? Wait for it…………. Americans throw away 28 billion pounds of food each year!!!
- Not only that, Americans also throw away 5.7 million tons of carpet a year.
- 5 million tons of office paper is wasted in a year in America.
- On average, 500 plastic bags are used by an American in a year. So, what happens to the bags? Are they reused? Some of them, maybe. But, most of the time, they are thrown away for good. And, these bags are the second most common type of garbage found on a beach.
- People buy and throw away 40% of the world’s toys, though only 4% of world’s kids live here.
- Some communities are seen to be spending more money on trash than on schoolbooks, libraries, parks, and fire protection.
- And, according to Edward Humes, the author of the book we mentioned, the energy used to collect and dispose of junk in one day in the U.S. could power 250,000 homes for a day.
Now, you are allowed to perform a jaw-drop.
The waste collection services industry
Now, let us talk about the waste collection and management industry for a while. We’ve already mentioned that waste collection is a 25-billion-dollar industry in USA. When you account for everything, the size of the industry rises to an astounding 45 billion dollars! Of this sum, 55% constitutes collection, 20% treatment & disposal, and another 15% is for remediation.
Now, let us ask you a question. Let’s say you’ve unfolded your copy of the Wall Street Journal. Which names do you look for when you’re searching for a billion-dollar company? Probably some oil giant or a media tycoon, no? Will the name “Waste Management” catch your eye at all? What about “Republic Services?” We think not. “Who are they?” is the question that would most likely bother you. Here you go:
Waste Management is a waste disposal company that was founded as early as 1968 by Wayne Huizenga and Dean Buntrock. The company has 21,000 collection and transfer vehicles, the largest trucking fleet in this industry. They serve 20 million customers in the USA and Canada every year. Their services include low-level nuclear, chemical, and asbestos cleanup as well as daily garbage removal, waste reduction, and recycling.
Republic Services was founded in the USA in 1998. In 2008, they purchased another waste management company by the name of Allied Waste Industries for 6.1 billion dollars. They currently serve 2,800 communities throughout the U.S.
Yeah, we know the facts are hard to believe. But hey, small things have great power, you know? It’s as they say, SIZE DOES MATTER!!
Featured photo credit: www.jwnet.or.jp via jwnet.or.jp