Recycling is better for the environment, there is very little landfill space left, and is cheaper than using virgin materials. That is what people are led to believe, but none of that is true for the majority of materials some metals like aluminum are better to recycle, but glass, plastic, and paper are better to make out of virgin material.
I n calendar year two thousand nine, forty four landfills accepted almost forty six million gate cubic yards of solid waste; eight percent less waste than was accepted during two thousand eight Some of these landfills were not active during the full year. Twenty-four of the forty four landfills accepted five million three hundred thousand gate cubic yards of waste from other states. Capacity remaining at forty seven landfills on Jan. 1, 2010, declined by less than one percent. This total of more than one billion gate cubic yards of available capacity was down more than eight million gate cubic yards from data reported a year earlier. (Nonhazardous Solid Waste Management and Landfill Capacity)
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has a voluntary assistance program, meant to help reduce methane emitted from landfill by encouraging the recovery of said methane to eventually be used as an energy source. As solid waste decomposes it gives off a gas which is comprised of roughly fifty percent methane, fifty percent carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of non-methane organic compounds. Landfill gas can be collected, converted, and used as an energy source instead of being released into the atmosphere. This is done by using a series of wells and a blower/flare (or vacuum) system. The collected gas is then directed to a central point where it can be processed and treated, the type of treatment is determined by the ultimate use for the gas. (Landfill Methane Outreach Program)
It may be flared, replace fossil fuels in industrial and manufacturing operations, used to generate electricity, or upgraded to pipeline quality gas...