Not much of that junk stays at home. It's shipped elsewhere, like the United States and even farther afield, says Hird, which helps to conceal the problem from Canadian citizens. But other countries have their own waste issues to deal with. The United States, for instance, produced more than 250 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2015, according to the EPA. And just like many countries, the U.S. is also exporting much of its trash—including to Canada, which receives a large portion of U.S. hazardous waste, and Mexico, which takes on American recycling. Piles of potentially-recyclable plastics end up in China, Malaysia, India, and other parts of Southeast Asia, where they generally sit in landfills or get incinerated. China and India recently stopped accepting most recycling due to its volume and high levels of contamination.