Recycling's true value comes from preventing pollution and saving natural resources and energy, not landfill space. Still, it's important to note that recycling is largely responsible for averting a landfill crisis in many parts of the country. Recycling and composting diverted nearly 70 million tons of material away from landfills and incinerators in 2000, up from 34 million tons in 1990.
As regulations have become more rigorous, the number of permitted landfills in the United States has dropped by 78% since 1988. New landfills are much larger than in the past, and more controversial to build because few people are willing to live in the vicinity of a mega-landfill.
While the Larimer County landfill currently is expected to last another 15-19 years (or longer, depending on how successful we are at diverting waste), once it does need to be replaced, a new one will cost taxpayers over $17 million to construct.
Was this article helpful?