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U.S. municipal solid waste landfills 1990 to 2018

In 2018, the United States had 1,269 municipal waste landfills. Most of the landfills in the United States were located on the West Coast.


Landfills or dumps are one of the most common forms of waste treatment in the world. It is the oldest type of waste treatment technique and is still used as a form of waste management. At these sites, waste is broken down into smaller parts and is either compacted or buried with layers of soil and other organic materials. This process is essential to extending the life of landfills. Waste is often brought to landfills by waste collection vehicles. However, countries such as Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and Switzerland have banned the disposal of waste in landfills. Only hazardous waste is allowed to be deposited. The largest landfill in the world was the Estrutural, located in Brazil.

Landfills in the United States

Landfills in the United States are regulated by each state’s environmental agency, however they are all required to abide by the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Food, yard trimmings, and inorganic wastes made up the highest amount of waste material in 2018 that was discarded into the municipal waste stream in the United States.

Number of municipal waste landfills in the U.S. from 1990 to 2018

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Release date

November 2020


United States

Survey time period

1990 to 2018

Supplementary notes

The figures for 1990 through 2014 are taken from previous editions of the publication.

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

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