Published: April 15, 2021 By

The United States has over 3,000 active landfills and 10,000 closed landfills. Landfills are necessary for the proper disposal of solid waste. They reduce the amount of waste that makes it into the environment, help to prevent disease transmission, and keep communities clean. However, landfills still have significant environmental and social impact. While landfills are a societal necessity, there are practices that can reduce the reliance on landfills and decrease their effects on the biosphere.

Environmental Impact of Landfills

Social Impact of Landfills

How to avoid landfills

  • Recycle! Every year the amount of waste that avoids the landfill increases due to recycling. Continuing to recycle will keep plastic and other materials out of the biosphere and put them to further use!

  • Avoid single-use plastics. Check out this article on single-use plastics and how to avoid them from the CU Zero Waste team here.

  • Compost! Landfills lack the oxygen that compostable items need to fully decompose. By putting biodegradable items into the compost instead of the trash, huge amounts of waste can avoid the landfill.

Landfills help to keep our communities clean, but they also pose serious threats to the health of our environment. Working towards living a zero waste lifestyle will help to reduce our reliance on landfills, their impact on the environment, and their impact on human health and well-being.