Fact: Even though the United States is larger, more affluent, and producing more garbage, it now has more landfill capacity than ever before. The erroneous opposite impression comes from old studies that counted the number of landfills (which has declined) rather than landfill capacity (which has grown). There are a few places, like New Jersey, where capacity has shrunk. But the uneven distribution of landfill space is no more important than the uneven distribution of automobile manufacturing. Perhaps the most important fact is this: If we permitted our rubbish to grow to the height of New York City's famous Fresh Kills landfill (225 feet), a site only about 10 miles on a side could hold all of America's garbage for the next century.
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