A landfill is only as good as the stuff we put in it. The problem with landfills aren’t the landfills themselves; it’s the amount of stuff we dump in them that should have been recycled. Reducing landfills and making them better for the environment begins at home with the stuff we accumulate and throw away.
Are landfills really so bad?
Before the 1980’s, landfills were not regulated like they are today. They were just “open dumps” where we would dump our trash indiscriminately. The unregulated dumps were nasty, stinky, polluting, eye-sores that would attract pests and cause health problems for nearby communities. Today, landfills are highly regulated, and modern-day advances have made landfills much more environmentally sound. There may not be an alternative to landfills as they are an integral part of our waste management system. However, there are alternatives to how we dispose of our waste.
Reducing our landfills means that we have to start being more mindful of the stuff we throw away, and how we throw it away. The reason that most landfills look like they are overflowing with trash is that too many recyclable materials are taking up too much space. Almost half of the space in a landfill is occupied by paper. That’s a lot of paper that could have been recycled, reducing the size of our landfills, and saving energy and precious resources.
You can reduce landfills and methane production by reusing, reducing, and recycling whenever you can.
Landfills are the third largest source of methane emissions in the US. Although paper will quickly decompose, when it is decomposing in a big landfill it will create methane which is a big contributor to climate change. It’s not just paper that is creating methane, all the materials in the landfill will produce methane as they decompose.
Sunrise Sanitation provides waste and recycling services to your home, business, or job-site in West Virginia and Maryland. We use the most eco-friendly and sustainable practices to ensure a cleaner future for us all.