2. Puente Hills, Whittier, California. 3,756,718 tons.
Taking in a third of Los Angeles County’s trash, Puente Hills is a big player when it comes to waste. But talking about trash doesn’t have the same effect as seeing it. Last year, the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), a Culver City-based think tank, sponsored a tour of Puente Hills in an effort to raise awareness about waste. Tickets sold out in minutes. But the landfill doesn’t just process waste. Puente Hills is the largest recycling location in the US, taking more than one million tons per year of recyclable materials.