As I drive to work each day I pass an area that was once a landfill site. The owner of the property built a Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse on the site by covering the trash with compacted fill dirt. This means the trash still exists below contaminating the earth.  Do you want the world to become a large garbage dump for future generations, or do you want to help to decrease the amount of waste going into our landfills?
Did you know…?
Every year American consumers fill enough garbage trucks to create a line stretching from the earth halfway to the moon.
We do not stop to consider what happens to our trash long-term after we dispose of it. For many consumers, out of sight is out of mind.  We can see two things from the moon: (1) the Great Wall of China and (2) the 2,200 acre “Fresh Kills Landfill” located on Staten Island in New York.  We create so much waste. From junk mail, plastic water bottles, takeout food wrappers, to the extreme packaging manufacturers use to package products – many of these products could be recycled, but instead the garbage lies in a landfill contaminating the earth for years to come.
Did you know…?
According to the EPA, in 1999, the state of Oregon had 33 active landfill sites occupying between 51-70% of our available state land.
Consumers often ignore claims that we are running out of active landfills and available sites for a future landfill, so is this true?  The EPA reports that the number of active landfills in the United States dropped from 7,924 in 1988 to only 1,654 in 2005.  While these figures are a bit outdated, one thing is clear, landfills are on the decline. Combine the reduced number of sites with increasing regulations that restrict the size of a new landfill site and it is clear that the claims are true.

Something has to stop!  Think about the items in your wastebasket and consider the alternatives, such as composting or recycling.  Most Americans are aware that we need to recycle more, however we still have a long way to go.  Government regulated bans on specific items, like plastic grocery bags, helps decrease waste in landfills and helps protect our environment.  Consumer attitudes and behaviors toward recycling are changing as the concern for the environment increases. 
Did you know…?
Studies estimate that American consumers throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
Recovery is the solution to this problem and to have an impact we need to first decrease our volume as consumers.  All of our efforts to educate and inform people to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” are working because, even though the world’s population will continue to grow, our landfill use will be continue to decrease and the reliance on recycling will increase significantly.