Shocking Images That Illustrate The World's Waste Epidemic

Because you can't see the waste you create doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

24/06/2016 5:36 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:54 PM AEST
AFP/Getty Images
A landslide at a garbage dump in Guatemala City.

The amount of waste the human population throws away is, not surprisingly but alarmingly, very quickly on the rise, fuelled by city living.

"Solid waste is mostly an urban phenomenon," Nature, the International Weekly Journal Of Science stated.

"In rural communities there are fewer packaged products, less food waste and less manufacturing. A city resident generates twice as much waste as their rural counterpart of the same affluence. If we account for the fact that urban citizens are usually richer, they generate four times as much."

And if things continue this way, it is estimated that we're on pace to exceed 11 million tonnes per day by 2100. An Olympic swimming pool holds 2500 tonnes. That's 4,400 pools filled every. Single. Day.

These numbers are so big it's hard to fathom. And when you can't get your head around something, you can't visualise the issue.

Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there. In fact, you can see what we are dealing with in the eye opening images below.

Oswaldo Rivas / Reuters
Two cows rest while birds fly overhead in search of food at the Managua's municipal garbage dump, known as "La Chureca" in Nicaragua.

AFP/Getty Images
People collect plastics and metals to be sold for recycling, at Managua's landfill 'La Chureca'.

LatinContent/Getty Images
Nicaraguan kids play in the garbage dump 'La Chureca'.

LA Times via Getty Images
In California, U.S.A heavy equipment operators use machinery to compact and shape mountains of trash at L.A.

LA Times via Getty Images
A bulldozer churns through mounds of garbage at the Puente Hills Landfill facility. It is the biggest active landfill in the nation. Every day more than 13,000 tons of garbage is dumped there each year, nearly 4 million tons, about a third of LA County's trash.

Birds fly over garbage at the Bordo Poniente landfill on the outskirts of Mexico City.

UIG via Getty Images
At Santa Fe refuse bump in Mexico City children and their parents work all day sifting rubbish for items to sell and scraps to eat.

A stray dog stands on a mound of garbage at a landfill site on the outskirts of Bangalore, India.

A garbage truck empties its load as bulldozers process the waste at the Central Landfill, in Johnston, Rhode Island, U.S.A.

A tipper dumps a load of trash at the Shoosmith Landfill in Chesterfield, Virginia, U.S.A.

A bulldozer operator plows trash at the town landfill, Wednesday in Bath, Maine.

Scavengers in Lagos, Nigeria sort out iron and plastic to sell at the Olusosun dump site the city's largest dump.

AFP/Getty Images
A landfill in the new territories of Hong Kong with the Chinese city of Shenzhen looms in the background.

AFP/Getty Images
Municipal firemen and rescue workers search for victims at the site of a landslide at a garbage dump in Guatemala City.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Smoke rising out of fire at Delhi's largest landfill, Bhalswa dump yard, due to soaring temperature in New Delhi, India.

AFP/Getty Images
Trucks unload garbage at the Dudaim dump site, the biggest landfill in Israel.

Bloomberg via Getty Images
A compactor packs down trash to be covered with fresh dirt at the Defiance County Landfill in Defiance, Ohio, U.S.A.

VCG via Getty Images
Children play at the China's largest landfill site as their parents look for recyclable items to sell. Some children often help their parents make a living from the landfill site.

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