Walt Disney World. It’s large and it’s full of people. According to the Reedy Creek Improvement District the area can see as many as 250,000 people a day across the entire property. That’s a lot of people, and people produce garbage and so naturally, that’s also a lot of garbage. But just how much garbage is produced at Walt Disney World?
I don’t want to bury the lead so let’s just dive into the numbers. According to the Reedy Creek Improvement District utilities report, the district picked up a total of 161,000 tons of waste in 2017. That averages out to 441 tons of trash every single day. Now that’s a lot of garbage, but how does that break down, and how do they manage it? Well for one, not all waste is equal. The district breaks down waste into a few different categories, including solid waste (your general garbage), food waste, landscape waste, manure, and recyclables. They’re all collected and managed separately. Now the solid waste makes up the lion’s share, with it accounting for just over 110,000 tons of the 161,000 total while 12.7 thousand tons are comprised of loose and bailed recyclables. However the number that surprised me the most wasn’t how much garbage was being produced, but how often it was being trucked off. Because, you see, in 2017 there were an average of 191 waste pickups per day, every day. Keep in mind, those pickups aren’t the times a custodial cast member is emptying a trash can on Main Street. We’re talking about the number of times trucks from Reedy Creek’s fleet of 35 solid waste transfer vehicles loaded up on garbage and whisked it off to a processing facility. Spread out evenly, that would be a pickup roughly every seven and a half minutes.