If you’re anything like the average American, you probably separate your trash from your recycling dutifully, take your cans out to your curb each week as you should, and then don’t give another thought to your trash—out of sight, out of mind. But all that trash has to find a home somewhere. Enter landfills, America’s method of disposing of and storing garbage. Extremely necessary, landfills are filling up quickly and rapidly expanding. You might be surprised by just how big some landfills are. Read on for a list of the largest landfills in the United States.
Puente Hills Landfill: Los Angeles, California
The biggest landfill in the United States, Puente Hills Landfill located in Los Angeles receives over 12,000 tons of waste per day, six days a week. Previously a farm used as grazing area for dairy cows, the land was appropriated as a site for waste in 1957. Since then, the area has accumulated 150 meters high worth of garbage. Even more surprisingly, the landfill only receives the waste of local residents, making the 1,500 hundred trucks that are necessary to carry the waste there daily even more astonishing. As the population of the surrounding area grows, more and more trash is sent to the landfill.
Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site: Aurora, Colorado
Not many people associate Colorado, specifically Aurora, with a place of waste and landfills. However, Aurora happens to be the home of the 10th largest landfill in the United States: Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site. The site accumulates more than 1.95 million tons of waste each year, some of which includes asbestos and petroleum. However, there are some renewable energy projects that are occurring at the site. The projects have resulted in enough energy to power more than one million homes.
Rumpke Sanitary: Colerain Township, Ohio
Known colloquially as “Mount Rumpke” amongst locals of Colerain Township, the massive landfill in Ohio collects 2.17 tons of waste each year. One of the largest landfills in the United States, the site occupies more than 230 acres of land. Sadly, the site was struck by lightning in 1996, causing a massive landslide of trash. As a result, the landfill was fined one million dollars.
Columbia Ridge Landfill: Arlington, Oregon
Landfills don’t just have to be about trash storage. In Arlington, Oregon, this giant landfill receives about 400,000 tons of waste each year. But the Colombia Ridge landfill uses the trash’s decomposition to collect methane gas, which is then used to power Seattle homes each year. Considered a “modern” landfill, the site is also engineered with environmental protection systems in place.
Newton County Landfill Partnership: Brook, Indiana
The second largest landfill in the US is the Newton Country Landfill Partnership, located 50 miles from Chicago in Brooke, Indiana. The landfill is 265 acres, and stores 2,926,489 tons of waste. In 2010, the Newton County Landfill won the Environmental Protection Agency’s Project of the Year Award. The award is given each year to the project that best exemplifies environmental awareness and sustainability. The award was given to Newton County Landfill based on the site’s work towards gas-energy, which the landfill uses, along with recycled materials, to create egg cartons.
While Americans need to make a significant move towards waste reduction in order to spare future lands from becoming dumping sites, many existing landfills have taken great strides in recycling waste and creating renewable energy.
This article was written by Maude Johnson, an aspiring journalist who regularly contributes on various blogs. She writes this on behalf of GoTo Tanks, your number one choice when looking for high quality water storage tanks. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!