Everyday, each one of us contributes to the solid waste stream – in our homes, at work, in school, or at play. While the quantity of this waste generated by households and business increases, (Missouri generates an estimated 7.9 million tons annually) landfill space continues to be a precious commodity. Relying on disposal as the primary means to manage our solid waste may create long-term problems.
Recycling is economical because costs associated with future disposal are avoided. One of these avoided costs is for landfill depletion. Landfills have limited space, and so can receive a limited amount of trash. When it is full, it must be replaced by another landfill that is generally more expensive to operate and maintain. Additionally, the new landfill may be further away than the old landfill, increasing transportation costs. Paying the higher costs at a new landfill is avoided by keeping the older one open longer. Recycling and other waste-reducing methods help to do this.