facts about landfills

Landfills are certainly not the sexiest topic in the world, but like it or not, we need them, and they are actually more interesting than you think. But if you do not believe us, take a look at the rest of our facts, we guarantee that you say a great ‘Wow’ to at least one of them, and that you will soon tell all your friends about your new favorite fact (you may not use anything to do with methane if you’re trying to impress someone).

So, without further ado, here are 10 fascinating facts about landfills:

1. Landfills are coming out (slowly) – from 2001 to 2007, landfill waste fell from 79% to 55%, and although it remains the main way we dispose of waste, landfills are used less and less, due to a increase in recyclingand ecological behavior. We are going!

recycling waste

2. Landfill space is running out – At the rate we are going, there is barely enough space in landfills in Britain to sustain us for the next seven years. The good thing is that we are embarking with this whole recycling issue, but it may be better to speed it up or we could end up living in the junk like Sesame Street Groucho.

3. Landfills stink – and there is a good reason for this, dealing with waste, including the use of landfills, creates 41% of the nation’s methane. Phew. No wonder it smells so bad.

methane from landfills

4. Landfills are mostly rotten – approximately 66% of junk in landfills is biodegradable, which means that it will eventually decompose into a rotten substance. Unfortunately, this process also creates a lot of carbon dioxide and methane, which is not doing much good for global warming. Then you can blame all these heat waves for all our trash.

5. Landfills do not rot completely – So, the 66% that disintegrates is all good (in terms of space, not in terms of global warming, obviously), but where does that leave the remaining 34%? Well, that’s not such a great story; The other elements that arise in landfills tend to be those that do not go anywhere quickly. Glass, for example, would take 1 million years to decompose naturally, just like plastic, and cans take 100 years.

causes of global warming

6. Landfills are pretty cool – It is hard to believe when it is considered to be literally a junk can, but when the junk is treated, it is removed (called compaction) using heavy machinery and then covered (if you have ever seen the movie Wall -E, you will know what we are talking about). It doesn’t sound so good, but check it out on YouTube, it’s really cool to watch.

7. Landfills are also recycled – obviously, landfills cannot continue to collect additional junk forever, so after reaching their capacity, they are redeveloped and recycled; the soil and clay spread across the site to allow things to grow, or at least allow the earth to be used for something else.

waste compaction

8. Landfills are a renewable energy source. – Currently, we get slightly less than 50% of our renewable energy from landfill gas. That’s a pretty shocking statistic when you really think about it, almost half of our renewable energy comes from the huge and disgusting piles of junk that we accumulate every year, great?

9. Landfills are full of food – It is estimated that food waste in landfills is worth around £ 12 million a year, and weighs the huge amount of 5.3 million tons, what a waste!

food waste disposal

10. The juice of the landfill ends in our sewers – The liquid produced by the landfills is finally cleaned and pumped to our sewers, so it is recycled even more (probably more than we recycle ourselves).


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