Garbage landfills, trash landfills, waste landfills – these all amount to the same thing. Landfills are where all the items we discard end up.
While these numbers are gradually changing, approximately 26% of materials in a landfill are paper products, 18% food scraps, 16% plastics, 9% rubber/leather/textiles, 7% each of yard waste/metals/wood and 6% glass. Of the 7 billion pounds of plastic thrown away each year, only one quarter of one percent is recycled. And here is another sad statistic – every year, American’s use almost one billion shopping bags, creating 300,000 tons of landfill waste. How’s that for disgraceful?
Open landfills may promote aerobic biodegradation of some plastics with or without special additives; closed landfills may promote anaerobic biodegradation of some plastics with or without special additives. Compost facilities may promote biodegradation of some plastics with or without special additives, but many don’t accept plastics.
We use the word “may” as the certain biodegradation of plastics is very specific as to the polymer, co-polymer, or bioplastic that is involved and the circumstances of the landfill/compost facility. There are currently about 410 compost facilities in the U.S. and 3,000+ active landfills. If you need a compost facility for your product waste to biodegrade in, you have very limited access.
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