World's biggest dump sites 2019

This statistic provides a ranking of some of the world's largest dump sites as of 2019. During this year, the Apex Regional Landfill in Las Vegas, United States covered about 2,200 acres of land. It is projected to have a lifetime of 500 years and holds about 50 million tons of waste as the largest landfill in the United States.

Global dumpsites – additional information

It is estimated that almost half of the world’s population does not have access to basic waste collection and disposal services. A large portion of the world’s generated waste is disposed of improperly on open dumpsites, which are especially common in low-income countries. These unregulated landfills are often close to urban areas, with an estimated 60 million people living less than 10 kilometers away from the 50 largest dumpsites in the world, implicating potentially severe health and environmental impacts. Diarrheal diseases, low birth weights, and some cancers have been linked to extended proximity to landfills. Pollution due to open burning and ground water contamination are commonly reported from large unregulated sites.

Among the 50 largest dumpsites in the world, twenty of them have both municipal solid waste and hazardous waste dumped within. The Estrutural landfill in Brasilia, Brazil is one of the largest municipal waste landfills in the world, spanning some 136 hectares. This landfill has been active for over 50 years with an estimated 30 million metric tons of waste. The site receives about 2 million metric tons of waste per day. There have been many accidents and deaths reported at the dumpsite as there are about 2,700 informal waste pickers who collect recyclable materials from the disposed waste.

Landfills in the United States are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and must be designed to protect the environment from potential contaminants in the waste stream. The United States has about 1,270 landfills, with over 300 landfills in the West.

Size of largest landfills globally as of 2019

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Source

Release date

March 2019

Region

Worldwide

Survey time period

2019

Supplementary notes

* Bordo Poniente was closed in December 2011. Puente Hills was closed in October 2013.

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Statistics on "Municipal solid waste in the U.S."

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