Trash collectors view the very messiest parts of our lives, so it’s not surprising that they have known for years what the journal Nature just discovered: Divorce is bad for the environment.

“By getting divorced, you could have more impact on the environment,” said Jianguo Liu, a Michigan State University professor and co-author of the article. Not only do divorcing couples throw away much of their joint property in the short run, but they also generate more waste in the long term.

As fertility rates shrink, life spans stretch out and incomes grow, divorce is just another factor contributing to the trend of smaller households. Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich agrees with Liu. “Every time you have fewer people living per house, you end up with another house plowing under another piece of land” and smaller-sized food packaging is much more wasteful than buying in bulk.

A “green” argument for marriage? Who would have guessed!