There are more than 1,250 landfills in the United States, primarily located in the Southern and Western states. And although the number of landfills has decreased significantly since the 1990s, landfills still contribute to global warming more that we would like.
“Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 14.5 percent of these emissions in 2020,
reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “The methane emissions from landfills in 2020 were approximately equivalent to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from about 20.3 million passenger vehicles driven for one year, or the carbon dioxide emissions from nearly 11.9 million homes’ energy use for one year.”
Landfill Greenhouse Gases Lead to Global Warming
Greenhouse gases are perhaps the biggest environment threat posed by landfills and huge contributors to global warming and climate change. In the U.S., landfills are the 3rd largest source of methane emissions.
The methane gas that landfills produce is about 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and a threat to our climate. Their odors can permeate neighborhoods and the gases can produce birth defects, respiratory diseases, headaches, sleeping difficulties and irritation of the eyes, throat and nose for those living near landfills. Methane is also highly flammable and combustible, and can lead to landfill fires that destroy neighboring habitats and pollute the air.
Other Effects of Landfills
More than 254 million tons of waste are tossed into landfills each year. That’s about 4.4 pounds of trash per day per person. When trash is buried in a landfill, it is extremely slow to break down. In addition, pests are attracted, runoff poisons our soil and groundwater, and the land is destroyed for any future purpose. The effects can last for years—and generations.
Electronic waste is added can contain a long list of hazardous toxins including mercury, acids, lead, PVC and cadmium. Other dangerous toxins can come from fertilizers, expired products and pharmaceutical waste.
Related: Land of Waste: American Landfills and Waste Production
How Can You Help Landfills NOT Contribute to Global Warming?
Our mission at 123JUNK has become even more important as our planet is seeing the increased impacts of global warming, where fires, floods, droughts rage through communities, putting lives and futures at risk.
Because we know that landfills contribute to global warming, through our 1-2-3 Process of Donate-Recycle-Dispose, we pledge to keep as much of the items we pick up from your homes and offices out of our area landfills as possible. We separate out the perfectly-good items, or items you want to donate, and deliver them to our hand-picked charitable partners, who provide them to families in need or sell them in their donation centers to raise money for their causes. You don’t need to separate out the items you’ve identified for removal. We’ll do it for you.
After we’ve determined which items we can donate, we’ll divide out recyclable items like bundles of newspapers, books, wood, aluminum, plastics and electronics and deliver those items to the appropriate local recycling centers where their materials can be recycled into other products.
And only when we have exhausted all ways to repurpose your items do we deliver the remainder to the landfills.
Choose 123JUNK for Environmentally-Conscious Junk Removal in NoVA, MD and DC
You can do your bit to help negate global warming by contacting 123JUNK for your home or office junk removal. Donate furniture and household goods. Recycle electronics. And let us help keep landfills from contributing to global warming and climate changes.
Contact 123JUNK today at 1-800-364-5778 to learn more about our donation pickup and delivery services, or to schedule your pick in Northern VA, Washington DC, or Maryland.