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U.S. municipal solid waste landfills by region 2017

There are over 1,250 landfill facilities located in the United States, with the majority in Southern and Midwestern United States. The South is home to 491 landfills, and the West has 328 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 267.8 million tons in 2017, 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.

Number of U.S. landfill facilities in 2017, by region

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Source

Release date

November 2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

2017

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Statistics on "Waste management in the U.S."

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