The United States generates a LOT of waste. (254 million tons in 2013). While many people regard recycling as the best method of waste removal, only 34% of our waste is actually recycled. That leaves 66% or 167 million tons that need to be disposed of annually. Where does it all go?
Of this total, a majority is deposited into landfills. The remaining 35 million tons is burned at waste-to-energy facilities – generating power.
The term “NIMBY”, or “not in my backyard”, is a phrase that has been commonly used when referring to landfills and waste-to-energy facilities for waste removal. If you live in populated areas, your waste does, in fact, end up in someone else’s backyard. But who’s backyard is it?
There are many rural landfills located throughout the U.S. that offer low-cost waste removal of nonhazardous municipal solid waste, or MSW. But, some disposal rates may be cheaper than others. This low disposal cost can be attributable to a number of factors. Low rural land cost and taxes are two of the main contributing factors. Also, certain states have more reasonable regulatory costs for permitting and monitoring.
There are many municipalities that welcome properly funded and well-operated
waste removal sites, such as landfills. These towns or counties typically structure a “host fee”, whereby the municipality and the State obtain a long term per ton reimbursement, as well as other incentives, such as infrastructure repair, employment guarantees, donations orcommunity support programs, etc. They view these operations, provided they are properly run and monitored, as any other industry.
These waste removal services help create a low-cost disposal option which can be accessed via truck or rail – more competitively priced than disposal at many local waste removal sites, even after factoring in the increased cost of transportation.
In a state like Massachusetts that has high real estate values and excessive regulatory control, it can cost up to $110 per ton or more to dispose of MSW in a permitted landfill. In places like Ohio and upstate NY, this cost could be $50 per ton or less for the same type of disposal. Even with the cost of transportation, it is often cost effective to dispose of waste in someone else’s backyard.
At Miller Recycling, we offer a variety of services to help your business handle its waste removal properly with no hassle. Contact us to get started.