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Recycling // Thought Leadership // Waste Industry


These three landfill issues could be costing your business money when it comes to waste management.

Bradford Arick | November 10, 2022


Everywhere you turn, things are costing more. Waste management programs are no different. Fuel, gate fees, and annual price increases (APIs) have your business paying more to deal with waste.

Diversion rates in the U.S. have hovered in the mid-30% range for years, meaning most waste still gets taken to the landfill. 

In this post, we explain three landfill problems costing your business money.

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One of the most recognizable increases businesses are paying for comes in the form of landfill tipping fees. The tipping fee is the cost, usually per ton, for haulers to dump waste at the landfill. 

Data shows that tipping fees increased in 2021 to a national average of over $54 a ton. Inflation, caused by a number of economic and political factors, saw diesel prices reaching nearly $6 a gallon. To offset that cost, many landfills started increasing their tipping fees. 

The more waste your business sends to the landfill, the more you’re paying. Conducting a waste audit gives an in-depth look at what is thrown away. It also provides a window into areas where waste can be diverted through recycling and composting. Diversion often saves money for your company.

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2. LANdfills are running out of space

The U.S. is the number one source of plastic waste in the world, producing three times as much waste as the global average. What happens to all of that waste? More than half of it gets buried in landfills. 

One analysis estimated that by 2021, there would only be about 15 years of landfill capacity left across the country. The Northeast was predicted to lose roughly 30% capacity by 2022. As existing landfills try to hold out for as long as possible, fees will only continue to increase. The process to open a new landfill can take years, cost millions of dollars, and involve legal and political challenges.

With diversion programs in place, your business will have less to worry about when it comes to landfill space. It means there will be space for things that cannot be reused or recycled like waste from medical services and facilities. And it means your business won’t have to keep shelling out more and more money to send items to the landfill.

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3. landfilling impacts esg scores, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon footprint

As the value placed on ESG scores (Environmental, Social, Governance) continues to skyrocket, simply sending the waste from your business to the landfill hurts in several ways. 

First, it can show your operations have little regard for the environment, meaning a lower score. Companies considered “sustainability leaders” had higher financial returns, were more likely to attract top industry talent, and had less risk related to climate change. Placing a greater emphasis on diverting waste from the landfill means more money for your business.

Landfilling waste also impacts the number of greenhouse gasses (GHG) emitted and the carbon footprint of your business. The EPA reports the gas emitted from landfills is roughly half methane and half carbon dioxide. Over 100 years, methane traps heat in the atmosphere as much as 36 times better than carbon dioxide. Landfills make up the third largest source of methane emissions in the U.S. 

With GHG and carbon tracking becoming increasingly crucial in the business world, sending waste to landfill does not look good on paper. New SEC rules could also soon require certain companies to disclose this information publicly. There are better ways for your business to deal with waste that save money and save the environment. 

roadrunner creates custom solutions for your business

RoadRunner believes that managing your business’s waste should focus on diversion and being cost-effective. Landfilling is often the most expensive choice a business can make when determining how to get rid of waste. While we don’t expect landfills to disappear overnight, there are better ways for your company to deal with waste. 

A comprehensive management program can be an incredible step to meeting sustainability goals. Diversion operations and ‘zero waste’ programs impact your business’s ability to attract and retain the best employees. Landfilling can hurt ESG scores and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

RoadRunner’s green technology is powering a better way for the future. We can often save our customers money, and help them reach their green goals. RoadRunner’s custom solutions unique to your company’s waste and recycling needs mean less goes to the landfill.

Join our powerful network of passionate businesses like yours to avoid the headaches that can come with landfilling waste. Contact us today!



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