Wasted: Surprising Facts About All That Stuff You Throw Away

Every day millions of Californians throw things away without thinking about where it all ends up. We waded into the numbers to find out where all of our trash goes. Here's what we unearthed. 


Pounds of trash generated daily by each person in California


Number of landfills in Los Angeles County 


Number of landfills in California 


Tons of trash processed in Southern California landfills per year 

38.8 million

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Percentage of trash in California landfills that could be recycled or composted


Percentage of trash recycled in California in 2015


Number of cigarette butts found in landfills each month, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Works


The cost of building the Mesquite Regional Landfill in El Centro, CA the largest unused landfill in the state and the entire waste -by-rail system

$450 million 

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The average yearly salary for a garbage collector in America, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics


Last year's salary of the Chief Engineer of the L.A. County Sanitation District, according to Transparent California


The number of garbage trucks in Los Angeles City


The weight of an empty garbage truck in pounds


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The number of sanitation districts serving L.A. County


Tons of trash processed annually at the El Sobrante Landfill in Corona, now the largest landfill in the state

2 million

Percentage of total methane emissions in the US produced by landfills 


The number of Local Enforcement Agency programs overseeing landfills throughout California


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