SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–Throwing away your trash is something you do everyday, but chances are you don’t think about where it goes when it leaves your sight.
Turns out about 700 tons of trash makes its way to the city landfill per day.
The landfill is open to the public where it costs close to $31 dollars per ton to dump.
Currently, the landfill capacity is built to last 12 to 15 years.
After that, it will be expanded within the property.
“It’s open for customers six days a week. They bring their materials in and they are unloaded then they go back out and we charge for the things that they dispose of,” says Erick Roberts with the City of Springfield.
If you’re one of those people who don’t take your own trash to the landfill, here’s a break down of the process by Roberts.
“Landfills are constructed with a bottom liner system and the trash is spread and compacted within those liner systems until it reaches a certain height and then that liner system is duplicated on the top,” says Roberts.
But what happens when the landfill reaches its capacity?
“One of those alternatives is expanding the landfill within the property that is already there so basically adding on to the edge,” says Roberts.
Another critical part of the process is protecting the environment.
“Modern landfills have a liner system with pipes for collecting that leachate off the bottom of the landfill and most landfills including ours transport that leachate to waste water treatment plants where it’s treated with other sewer before being released back into the environment,” says Roberts.
To avoid the landfill from reaching capacity too soon, Angie Snyder with the Ozarks Headwater Recycling District says recycling is crucial.
“Landfill space is the biggest issue. We generate so much trash that really doesn’t have to go in the landfill. So many things we use are infinitely recyclable either through melting it down or re-purposing it or actually literally re-purposing things,” says Snyder.
Erick also says that the city is hopeful that there will be new technology in the years to come that will make the landfill space last longer.