Reducing and reusing waste
A landfill site is a huge hole in the ground that we fill with waste until it is full. Landfill space is running out as there are very few suitable sites left.
Once something is buried in landfill it can’t be reused or recycled. It is important to recycle all we can and avoid putting recycling and food waste in the general waste bin.
Landfill is expensive – sending waste to landfill costs over £109 per tonne – compared to recycling, where some materials have a value when sold on to be recycled. This means by minimising the waste we send to landfill, we can keep costs of waste collections low for council tax payers.
Environmental impact of landfill
Although landfill sites are carefully controlled and managed to reduce their impact on the environment, there are still other negative environmental impacts.
Waste at the bottom that is covered in landfill, breaks down without receiving any oxygen. This produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
When water filters through the waste in a landfill site and mixes with waste as it breaks down, a liquid called leachate is produced. Leachate is highly toxic and can pollute the land, ground water and water ways.