Highest amount of U.S. waste in landfills per capita by state 2016

This statistic displays the highest amount of landfill waste per capita in the United States in 2016, broken down by select state. Nevada topped the ranking with more than 38 tons of landfill waste per person.

U.S. landfills – additional information

A landfill is a site used for the disposal of waste materials. It is considered one of the oldest forms of waste treatment and is used in many places around the world. Landfills in the United States are regulated by each state’s environmental agency, which in turn, follows the guidelines set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The United States has around 1,908 landfills, with over 700 landfills situated in the West. According to EPA data, Nevada had the highest amount of trash in its landfills, amounting to more than 38 tons per person in 2016. Overall, the United States generated 254.1 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2013 – a significant increase from 88.1 million tons in 1960. However, the number of landfills in the U.S. has almost decreased by half between 1990 and 1995, standing at 1,908 in 2013.

Although recycling rates have improved significantly over the last decades, the United States is far behind leading European countries. In 2015, Austria and Germany had the highest recycling rates worldwide with 63 and 62 percent, respectively. Some countries like Austria, the Netherlands and Germany have virtually eliminated landfill disposal as these countries have implemented successful recycling programs and policies. In addition to waste reduction and recycling programs, there are several alternatives to landfills, including waste-to-energy incineration , anaerobic digestion, composting or mechanical biological waste treatments.

Most trash in landfills per capita in the United States in 2016, by select state

Landfill waste per person in tons
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Sources

Release date

July 2016

Region

United States

Survey time period

2016

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

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