Deconstruction is labor-intensive and time-consuming, whereas the cost of landfilling
is--for now--still relatively cheap.
* In Texas: In Dallas, which has pilot mixed-plastic collection and supermarket drop-off programs, some 40% of the material is said to be going to landfill because of contamination, inadequate demand for mixed plastics, and low tipping fees that make landfilling
The three alternatives generally considered in addition to recycling are waste reduction, waste-to-energy plants, and landfilling
. The last two solutions may be hard-sells, since it has been the public's concern over landfilling
and incineration that has given recycling such a boost.
The group says this is why Europe ordered the phase-out of the landfilling
of organic materials in 1999.
In fact, the state of Minnesota, which prohibits the landfilling
of rechargeable batteries, has granted a special exemption for Renewals.
Considering that the above figures do not reflect the $66,000 in landfilling
fees that are avoided, the operation is an astounding financial success.
Since 1985, EPA has banned landfilling
of solvents -- like benzene -- and required that new hazardous-waste landfills use multiple barriers of clay and synthetic materials.