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U.S. municipal solid waste landfills by region 2015

Number of U.S. landfill facilities in 2015, by region

by T. Wang, last edited Oct 1, 2019
U.S. municipal solid waste landfills by region 2015 There are over 1,700 landfill facilities located in the United States, with the majority in Southern and Western United States. The South is home to 624 landfills, and the West has 630 landfills. Since the 1990s, the number of landfills in the country has decreased significantly. Regional differences in costs of landfilling municipal solid waste is also evident in the U.S., with the south-central regions having the lowest average cost. Municipal solid waste landfills in the U.S. must be designed in order to protect the environment from potential contaminants that exist in solid waste.

Are there enough landfills?

The generation of waste in the United States has steadily increased over the last decades, reaching 262.4 million tons in 2015, compared to 88.1 million tons in 1960. Recent estimates predict that landfill capacity in the U.S. is reaching its peak and landfills may run out of space within the next few decades. To prevent landfills from reaching their full capacity, waste could be burnt for energy or more landfills could be added. However, communities generally oppose to new landfills due to potential pollution and additionally, landfills emit a lot of methane gas into the atmosphere which accelerates climate change. Ideally, the amount of waste produced would be reduced through active involvement from policy makers, manufacturers, and consumers.
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Number of U.S. landfill facilities in 2015, by region

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