Challenge: Visualizing What’s Wasted (EPA)
We would like you to create an engaging, high-impact data visualization to tell the story of the quantities of materials being wasted in the U.S. to support a zero waste future.
“Humans are consuming resources and producing waste at a greater scale than ever before” (UNEP). Over 166 million tons (~66%) of materials are wasted in the U.S. annually, resulting in wasted opportunities to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce hunger, and create jobs. On average, every person generates 4.40 pounds of waste per day, and only 1.51 pounds is recycled or composted. We need to focus on reducing waste to minimize our environmental impact.
Our aim is that the visualization or series of images will inspire people and spur re-design, waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting action. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has detailed information on solid waste generation, disposal (landfilling and incineration), recycling, and composting for the past 50 years in the agency’s annual Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures Report.