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Landfill waste facts

Every year in Wales we throw away 4 million tonnes of
rubbish.  That's enough to fill the Millennium Stadium
every 20 days!

 

In the past, most waste was sent to landfill
as it was cheap and space was available in old quarries.

This space will run out in approximately 7 years,
which is why it is so important to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

About two-thirds of landfilled waste is biodegradable. This waste rots, decomposes and produces harmful gases (Carbon Dioxide and Methane), adding to global warming.

Modern landfill sites have gas controls (although some gas still escapes to the atmosphere). Where the gas is captured it can be burnt to power generators to produce electricity.

 

What's in my bin?

The rubbish we throw away is made up of the following:

 

 

 

The contents of everyone's green refuse bin is slightly different depending on the food we eat, the items we buy and whether we have a garden or not.  The percentages shown in the picture above are for the average bin and indicates that over 60% could be recycled or composted.  

When we bury our rubbish in landfill we are losing valuable natural resources and wasting the energy, water and transport costs used in its production. The only sustainable answer to the problem is to recycle our waste.

 

 Did you know...?

  • Around 51% of our waste is still being landfilled and in Wales we only have an estimated 7 years of landfill space remaining!

  • One tonne of biodegradable waste produces between 200m3 and 400m3 of landfill gas

  • Waste management, including landfill, released 41% of the UK's Methane emissions in 2008

  • About 48% of renewable gas and electricity in the UK now comes from landfill gas

  • Wasted food in landfill mounts up to 20 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions