Beyond the smell and decay, landfills are considered modern archeology sites, collections of discarded items that give clues to the lifestyles of those who used them. In fact, Harvard-trained archeologist Bill Rathje recently told the LA Times, “The best time capsule in the world is a landfill.”
But that time capsule has an impact.
The average American produces a little over 4 pounds of trash per day, and although we might be diligent about separating our recyclables, once the garbage truck comes along, to us, our waste is out of sight and out of mind. While we return to the house with an empty garbage can, our waste takes off on a journey for the landfill, where mountains of trash pile up to be pushed around by bulldozers and circled by vultures in the air.
Where does your trash go?
We rounded up a list of the top 10 biggest landfills, just to show the ultimate impact of our everyday waste. According to Waste & Recycling News, these are the biggest landfills, based upon tonnage received in 2007. Here are some interesting facts about these places, including some very uplifting ones (really).
1. Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada. 3,824,814 tons.
America’s largest landfill, Apex, lies just an hour north of Sin City. Storing nearly 50 million tons of rotting trash, Apex is no small operation. Surprisingly enough, things seem to be slowing down. According to General Manager Mark Clinker commercial and residential waste has actually decreased. Maybe there’s still hope?